Controversy over EPISD bond spreads as East side schools struggle to find funding

The El Paso Independent School District has begun implementing the $668.7 million bond, but some people now have concerns about the equality of the money being distributed throughout all the
EPISD schools.

Residents living both on the Northeast and East side have expressed their anger and concern about their own schools receiving the renovations and maintenance they desperately need.

Alice Ellis, a resident of Northeast El Paso said, “I’m worried that schools on our side of town won’t get any of the money.”

Ellis has lived in the Northeast for over 40 years and has seen its changes and progress, “It’s not fair that west side schools get so much attention when our schools can’t even afford to buy new sports equipment.”

Ellis went on to talk about how west side schools have received many new fixtures over the years and that schools such as Andress, Irvin and El Dorado on the far east side have not.

Noelia Collins, a UT El Paso student also expressed her concern over the bond money and said, “I think it re-enforces the segregation of families that are already wealthier getting better education even in public schools.

It gives money to the schools that are doing better, failing to realize that the schools that are struggling re struggling precisely because of insufficient funds.”

Many east side schools will only see a bit of the money as it’s mostly structured to the rebuilding of high schools and the closure of many other schools. $56.8 million dollars will however be used to rebuild most of Burgess High School.

It was also announced that $26.1 million would be used for fields and lighting replacement at all high schools.

When asked about what citizens on the east and northeast side of town could do to make a statement to the representatives of El Paso Collins said, “I think east side families should show how they would have used the budget in detail and outline resources that west side schools are able to afford that east side schools can’t.”

Collins also said that if Facebook users start a petition to turn into the city, it might get enough of a following that city representatives will have to look at.

Jocelyn Nunez, also a UT El Paso student attended Andress High School until 2011. She expressed her displeasure with the progress of the school and said, “It’s not fair that schools like Coronado get to have an actual fine arts building.”

Her sister Joann Nunez, who also attended Andress until 2015 agreed with this saying, “Andress has been promised a fine arts building since 2008. Why does it always get scrapped and the money sent to another school?”

For a more detailed list of places the bond will be used within the next five years please visit the El Paso Independent School district website.


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