The El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) Board of Trustees unanimously approved the 2018-2020 Transformation Zone Grant funded by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) at a EPISD special board meeting Tuesday afternoon.
The $5 million grant is planned to go towards forming a Transformation Zone group of low-performing schools in the district and provide those campuses with autonomy over people, time, money and academic programs.
The Transformation Zone will include eight district schools of all levels. Those are:
- Andress High School
- Bassett Middle School
- Bowie High School
- Chapin High School
- College Career Technology Academy
- Hughey Elementary School
- Milam Elementary School
- Richardson Middle School
The grant is proposed to fund improvements at the low-performing schools including curriculum changes and providing new support for existing teachers.
However, the El Paso chapter of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) fears this will only pay for the creation of charter schools.
EPISD denies that claim. “This is not a charter option, this is all going to be EPISD work, by EPISD faculty and staff, for EPISD students,” EPISD Spokesperson Melissa Martinez said.
The district plans to have all high schools that are below the state average graduation rate, achieve a graduation rate of 90 percent by 2021.