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EPISD Board of Managers proposes possible transition plan back to Board of Trustees

By: Joshua Zuber
EL PASO, Texas  Tuesday, El Paso Independent School District's Board of Mangers gave a proposal plan for the transition process shift back to the elected Board of Trustees.

Board of Managers president Dee Margo outlined the proposed plan.

It includes that the elected trustees could be welcomed to attend training with the board at Region 19 and others, be invited to attend graduation ceremonies, be invited to attend budget subcommittees and be appointed a district point of contact for questions.

"We've got to provide a proper transition for the trustees who will follow us," Margo said.

"We are going to discuss some ideas on ways to incorporate the elected trustees over time and the processes and the training that we're doing. And there are around going to be some general thoughts. It's not an action item per se," Margo said before Tuesday evening's meeting.

That's something trustee Susie Byrd is happy to hear.

"I think that is sort of rare to provide long-term training before elected officials take office so I hope the district takes advantage of that," Byrd said.

The Board of Managers was installed in May 2013 by Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams.

It was because of public outcry over distrust over the former board of trustees.

The installation stems from the nation's first scheme by former EPISD superintendent Lorenzo Garcia to gain financially from No Child Left Behind.

The act mandates higher student achievement by state schools with a big measure of that being standardized tests.

Garcia had students' scores manipulated, had students avoid taking the 10th-grade Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills and steered at $450,000 contract toward a mistress.

That leaves EPISD with a lower state accreditation score.

"Remember that EPISD's accreditation was reduced and that's one of the primary things we've got to work on," Margo said.

Garcia pleaded guilty and received a 3 1/2-year sentence, which was recently reduced in October by almost a year for what amounts to good behavior.

Margo said in an email that this plan can begin at anytime any time and no formal action from the board is required.



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