EPISD Board Inaction leads to new laws.
Posted in the El Paso Forum
#1 Nov 13, 2012
By Joshua Zuber
["EL PASO, Texas —
El Paso Independent School District is under the gun once again by state officials.
El Paso's state senator, Jose Rodriguez, filed bills Monday in hopes of fixing the troubled district specifically in response to the cheat scandal KFOX14 has extensively been following.
"The purpose of these bills is to make sure these types of issues don't happen again, not just at EPISD but other school districts statewide," Rodriguez told KFOX14.
Rodriguez also said the school district's "inaction" to fire employees more quickly tied to the scandal is a cause for these five bills to be filed.
"What we have is a situation, for whatever reason, that this district was very slow to respond to these issues," Rodriguez said.
As KFOX14 has reported, the district school board president, Isela Castanon-Williams, has said repeatedly that internal and external investigations are ongoing. Therefore, to prevent legal action against the district and board, she is waiting for those to be complete.
Meanwhile, in response to Rodriguez bill, EPISD Board Trustee Rocio Benedicto released this statement:
"Speaking for myself as the Bowie-area representative, I'm disappointed that Senator Rodriguez hasn't made more of an effort to work with the district on more substantive legislative proposals to strengthen accountability. While SB 121 may be well-intentioned in wanting to make it easier for whistle blowers to sue the district, this may have the unintended consequence of making it more difficult for school districts to fire employees who should be held accountable for misconduct. In addition to making it a state felony to manipulate data to TEA, what about penalties for others who knowingly engage in other types of wrongdoing that harm students? I think there needs to be a discussion about more types of actions that can harm students that should also be penalized with harsher laws."
As far as actually getting the bills heard, Rodriguez believes they stand a good chance in the Republican-controlled Senate. Rodriguez is a Democrat who won re-election this past general election.
"This is not a partisan issue. This is something that I'm sure all our members of the Legislature will be concerned about because it affects all of our children,” Rodriguez said.
Texas' legislative session begins Jan. 8."]
These laws will help the people here in El Paso be able to recall and remove the board members when necessary to get the districts moving forward. IT will also offer the state, county and city peace officer the ability to make a criminal case and file appropriate charges against the members of the board who obstruct the investigation of cases like EPISD has committed. Hopefully the whole house and senate pass the bills into law. It would be nice to also have the bills signed and into law as quickly as possible.
#2 Nov 13, 2012
Zuber is off his rocker. His reporting is always so biased and one-sided. Peace officers are the bane of law enforcement. They screw it up for the rest of us who wear a badge by their timidity and they way they drag their feet when pursuing lawbreakers. EPISD is a mess but this is not the solution.
#3 Nov 13, 2012
Really? Seems that you have problems with the police or with one or two of them. How many times have you been arrested or friends of yours? The solution is always removal of persons who fail their duties. The Board of EPISD have failed theirs. ZUBER is not the only one at the meeting. Zuber made a report and so did the other stations. Cry all you want.
#4 Nov 13, 2012
I've known Joshua for some time and he is a nice guy but also not the brightest bulb in the lamp. He sometimes lets his own ideals get in the way of reporting the facts. He often only gets quotes from one side and when you see him on the air, he often makes faces when he disagrees with something.
#5 Nov 13, 2012
SO you know Josh, and? The facts were reported on all the other stations. Guess you forgot to check that out. Regardless of Zuber's problems the report is correct.
#6 Nov 14, 2012
The committee told the Board they needed to publicly and in writing apologize to the School district parents and students for their lack of leadership. Board President stated it would cost too much for individual letters to be sent out. Guess she forgot there are two Newspapers in town where they could take out a full page and each send a letter of apology and it wold be translated into spanish along side the english version.
#7 Nov 14, 2012
That's a very bad idea. They should keep things in house and not broadcast their sins across the city. I live in YISD and I don't give a good, sweet, you-know-what about their affairs.
#8 Nov 14, 2012
It ain't your money being used so stay out of the mess. They need to apologize and they need to do it individually and collectively in the Newspapers.
#9 Nov 14, 2012
Garcia cheated hundreds of students of their future while Jessie Gandera just helped to get students high and he ended up with the longer jail sentence? Something is wrong with our pansy ass judges. They should both be serving 10 years minimum.
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