The El Paso Independent School District is asking voters to approve a $669 million bond. (I bet it was $666 except they didn’t want to antagonize the religious fundamentalists.)
They say they need the money because their enrollment is declining, resulting in a decrease in funds from the state, and their facilities need to be updated.
If the EPISD were in the private sector, they’d stanch the expenses. Fire some employees. Sell some of the surplus real estate.
But firing employees is politically risky. Unions are disproportionately represented at the ballot box here. Unions vote. Mostly, El Pasoans don’t. Especially in school district bond elections.
And those people on the school board are political animals. They’ve got their eye on the next election. Any election. That school board seat is just a stepping stone on their path to big leagues. They are going to do the politically expedient thing. And not piss off the unions.
At least that’s the way it looks from where I sit, here in the bleachers in Barrio Heights.