The Very Best That Other People’s Money Can Buy

The El Paso Times reports that three area lawmakers are throwing their support behind the El Paso Independent School District’s $669 million bond proposal.

“I urge my fellow citizens to look at all the aspects of this bond issuance and keep in mind that the primary and foremost purpose of the bond issuance, as I see it, is to ensure that our children in the El Paso Independent School District have the best facilities and the best learning environment that you can find anywhere,” [State Senator Jose Rodriguez] said.

Which kind of hits the nail on the head. EPISD is asking us to buy them the best facilities you can find anywhere.

With a price tag to match.

This is like your kid asking for a Ferrari to get to school.

How about a six-year-old Taurus?

And the “primary and foremost purpose of the the bond issuance” may be to ensure that the children in the EPISD “have the best facilities . . . that you can find anywhere,” but a secondary consideration is to poach students from the surrounding districts, as articulated by EPISD Board President Dori Fenenbock, in this interview with KVIA:

The number of students enrolling in the El Paso Independent School District is falling by more than one-thousand every year, leading to a loss of about $6 million in funding every year, district officials said.

“That’s about the size of a small high school,” said EPISD Board of Trustees President Dori Fenenbock. “And we’re not just going to sit back and accept that. We’re going to change the trend.”

Hence, open enrollment. Hence, a $73 million rebuild of Coronado High School, to attract students from Sunland Park (I presume), whose parents won’t be paying the tax increase.

I am sure that the El Paso Independent School District needs facilities upgrades. I am sure that the 80 member committee that recommended the improvements (and who may have developed Stockholm Syndrome during their time with the EPISD administration) looked into it. However, the current administration at EPISD needs to earn our trust before they ask us to buy them a Ferrari.

And even then, they’ll be lucky to get a six-year-old Taurus.

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