EPISD School Board president Dori Fenenbock justifies Juan Cabrera’s colossal salary and $45,500 “bump” because of a couple of very important things to keep in mind...
#1 Excerpt from the El Paso Times January 19 column titled “Teachers are mad as hell at Cabrera’s raise” –
“Fenenbock said that the EPISD is the 12th largest school district in Texas and that the pay raise and contract extension make Cabrera's salary similar to that of his peers and HELPS KEEP HIM FROM LEAVING. She said that the average tenure for superintendents in Texas is about three years, but is eight years or longer at high-performing districts.”
According to Fenenbock, if Cabrera does not receive skyhigh financial compensation HE WILL LEAVE.
So are we to believe that it’s all about the $$$ for Cabrera and the EPISD School Board is overpaying him while ignoring the needs of the very troops on the ground that make the real difference in the day to day education of our children...El Paso’s educators?
Teachers who get a $12 a month pay raise while they watch their insurance increase by $250 and their property taxes rise by $200+ thanks to the EPISD bond?
Teachers who have to buy their own materials and paper because EPISD won’t supply them what they need to efficiently educate our children?
All this while EPISD sat on $20,000,000 of unspent 2007 bond money when they could have been dispensing raises and providing supplied to educators, making the “desperate repairs so urgently needed” that Fenenbock and Cabrera constantly referred to while campaigning to pass the bond.
If Cabrera is serving EPISD and El Paso “for the kids” then he should immediately turn down his pay raise and commit wholeheartedly to his position with no respect to his annual salary which is just as unbalanced as bank CEOs salaries are compared to bank employees.
#2 Fenenbock’s words — “He surpassed the board's expectations, including last fall's passage of the $668.7 million school bond issue, the largest in El Paso County history.”
Just what were their expectations?
Because from my point of view (and apparently a very large percentage of El Pasoans), it had everything to do with superficial exterior accomplishments and very little to do with raising the bar of the quality of education of El Paso’s unique border population students OR addressing the needs of EPISD’s underpaid and overworked educators.
Texas is #43 and dropping with El Paso lagging behind in Texas.
Betsy DeVos, Trump’s selection for education secretary if approved will wreak havoc upon the American public school system.
DeVos is no friend to EPISD and they know it. She will put programs in place that will promote competition between public schools and private / charter schools with a profit motive. These loosely regulated schools will allow parents to pull their kids from public schools and siphon our tax dollars which are about $6–7,000 per student and apply them towards the private/charter schools.
What does this mean?
EPISD, which is already losing over 1,000 students per year (x $7,000 per student in funding) to successful districts like YISD and SISD, and to high dropout rates that aren’t being addressed among other reasons, will BLEED MUCH MORE STUDENTS if DeVos becomes Secretary of Education.
EPISD is also receiving less $$$ every year from the Texas Legislature because of continued cuts in public education were instituted in 2011.
Less money to apply to actual education improvement and teacher compensation.
Yet Fenenbock nonchalantly pulls out an additional $45,500 from the just-passed EPISD bond to say “Thank You” to Cabrera for pulling off this record-setting tax-payer heist and bond which does not directly impact education quality or educator compensation.
As I’ve mentioned since Day 1 of this bond, EPISD needs to find other ways to address the less important superficial building repairs and consolidations and use our hard-earned tax payer $$$ to directly improve education for our students and their educators.
We need to find a way to stop this bond dead in it’s tracks while there is still time, if indeed any time is left.
We need to take a re-vote or sign petitions to call for re-vote based on the false and misleading EPISD El Paso Rising PAC mailing propaganda that essentially fooled the public into voting YES for this poorly executed bond initiative.