In 2007 El Paso voters approved a “modest” $230 Million (modest compared to the over 1/2 billion they are asking for now) bond for EPISD. The money was going to be used to build new schools (to decrease over crowding) and to do updates on existing schools among them Burgess ($2,267,326) and Coronado ($6,000,000)High schools. As of the 2015 EPISD audited financials, the most recent financials available, “The 2008 Bond Capital Projects fund balance is $73.2 million and includes expenditures of $11.5 million at June 30, 2015.” In a 4News story, we found that the following items from the 2007 bond still had not been completed:
- Building of a new northeast high school – scrapped because the population in the Northeast could not support having its own high school.
- Bowie and Jefferson athletic facilities
However, the EPISD board of managers voted to reallocate $1.9 million from the 2007 bond fund toward new projects.
Now EPISD is telling us that they need to consolidate and update schools. Some of the schools that need to be updated? Coronado ($73,885,792) and Burgess ($56,783,048). They are saying that it has been 9 years since the last bond, that your taxes aren’t going to go up “that much” and that, if you’re over 65 they won’t go up at all! Our issue? IT HAS BEEN 9 YEARS SINCE THE LAST BOND AND THEY STILL HAVEN’T FINISHED WHAT THEY STARTED THERE! How can we believe them when they say they are going to manage this next bond efficiently, one that is almost three times as big? In another 9 years are they going to come to us with their hands out again, telling us that they now need to build more schools?