Teacher Speaks Out Against EPISD Cuts

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POSTED: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - 9:33am

UPDATED: Saturday, July 24, 2010 - 12:06am

Tommy Davis is a science teacher at Franklin High School in the El Paso Independent School District. He voiced opposition during the public forum at yesterday's district board meeting, saying district leaders got themselves into financial trouble.

"I'm not afraid to speak out," Davis said. He was the only teacher to speak out against the administration.

"They're intimidated to speak out against school district policies because they are afraid they if they speak out they will be one of the first in line to get laid off," Davis said.

"The board did have to make the toughest choice tonight to vote on closing Houston," said Berenice Zubia, a spokesperson for the district. She said the reason is low enrollment. Houston has the capacity to hold 900 students, but currently has less than half that.

"For a year there were meetings with parents, meetings with community members," Zubia said.

The district is also evaluating teacher's pay and the health insurance plan for all district staff. Those measures will be voted on at future board meetings.

"Our goal is to continue the level of education for all of our children regardless of what school they attend," Zubia said.

Still, Davis said the school district is not thinking outside the box enough on where else to cut.

"Every single option needs to be explored and exhausted before even talking about somebody losing their job," Davis said.

Zubia said students from Houston Elementary will be attending nearby schools and that there will be open houses at those schools for parents to meet the administration.

 

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A superintendant that earns close to $300K, with bonuses, paid health insurance, free cell phone use, gasoline allotments, housing, etc., what does he care how the employees of the district are faring! How much money was spent by the district to hire the Gallup Company to devise an aptitude test to "screen" out future teachers? Oh yeah how many of those NOT passing this APTITUDE test got hired evn though the State of Texas said they could teach based on State certification. But EPISD says no.

Instead of teaching critical thinking, integration of subject matter and common sense, we are teaching to the test, period.
The RELEASE TESTS from previous years are hashed and rehashed and thus allow the students to pass the test with extra added strategies, which don't amount to a hill of educational beans.
Look at the students SAT SCORES and see if they are ready for college after 12 years of community investment.

Get a SKELETON crew at the administrative level, by firing all the PENCIL PUSHERS which do not add an iota to the educational benefits of our community.
Allow teachers to teach, don't micromanage, and have the principals only take care of discipline and managing the office.
Ask the teachers next time around, not the principals and you will see that there is hope.
Save money by cutting the SUPERINTENDANT'S POSITION.

Oh yes, and I understand that Dr. Garcia was given a $25,000 bonus for the student's increase in TAKS scores....

wait, don't we have an $18 million dollar deficit to deal with? Yeah, go ahead give it to him. What's another few thousand dollars when we are talking about several million we don't have?

I was wondering if you have read the letter that Senator Shapleigh wrote to Dr. Garcia (EPISD) dated May 18, 2010? It is posted on his webpage: Shapleigh.org

I now understand why Senator Shapleigh is so upset with what might be going on at the EPISD. You may want to read it and see if it has any merit regarding TAKS testing and student success, I know that I am now wondering if there might be more going on than then public knows about.

they could have done more. they promised to keep the school open for two years.The school is doing very well and was almost at there mark of enrollment. The property has been sold to the water department. Which was failed to be mention. In addittion one of the other schools mention to be closed had lower student enrollment and lower test scores. but they closed houston

the economy is bad enough already and now more layoffs? It's not too appealing for those qualified teachers that want to come to the district or for those new graduating teachers. No wonder there is a teacher shortage..everyone leaves El Paso for better options..how sad

If the EPISD community would have come together and passed the vote then this wouldn't be a problem. Everyone wants their kids to have an excellent education but no one is willing to pay more taxes to get it done. In my opinion the parents and community of EPISD students screwed themselves on this one.

Pay and Insurance Plans huh? That's what you want to do...make it less appealing to attract qualified individuals who are willing to commit themselves to educating our future leaders. Shameful!!!

Its a Sad day! Poor leadership is the problem here.

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