Monday, April 8, 2013

City and State Takeover of School District

City and State Takeover of School District
The dilemma of El Paso Independent School District is great.

How does one measure the harm done to students in the cheating scandal to city and state takeover of school districts robbing people of color of their right to elect or reject incumbents and candidates?

The Usual Sanders-Foster Zombies

More important, is it really about the children? Is there an alternative motive to district takeover and why are the “usual suspects” like Joyce Wilson, Rep. Susie Byrd, Veronica Escobar and other Sanders-Foster zombies involved? Chucoleaks has posted an email between Joyce Wilson and Rep. Ann Morgan Lily where she coaches Lily what to say at a board meeting.

Right to Vote Representation

Others issues involved here are the right to vote: Distinctly the right to vote in and the right to vote out duly elected officials.

This especially comes into play in looking at the historical segregation and discrimination. It has only been a mere 29 years since people of color have had representation on the EPISD Board of Trustees. Before that, trustees were voted in at-large, and you can guess it how in using at-large voting what side of town the trustees lived and what color was their skin.

Almost 30 years later, two White politicians are leading the charge to take over the school board. Both of these politicians are in the pockets of the Bill Sanders/Paul Foster machine. Open government opponent and city council member Suzy Byrd and Elliot Shapleigh have posted themselves up as the White saviors and have even received the backing of many white liberals in El Paso. In addition to Shapleigh‘s wannabe Mexican dichos which verge on the edge of insulting and racist.

Furthermore, when looking at it from a racial standpoint, many White advocates don’t want to let voters (for the most part people of color in EPISD) vote trustees out. It is this common White missionary complex and “we are here to help you and we know brown people can’t make the decision to vote someone out or into office on your own so we’ll do it for you.”

But the question remains, what is the rational for this proposed takeover. It is much more than caring for children?

The Board of Managers

 The Texas Education Agency commissioner removed the trustees and created a Board of Managers. One of the appointments is Carmen Arrieta Candelaria who became famous for telling City Council it would take 300 years to pay off the city’s debt. The commissioner also appointed former state representative Dee Margo, just after his electoral loss in November 2012. Margo voted against more school funding while serving in the legislature.

Although Bowie High School is at the center of this scandal, the commissioner appointed no one from South El Paso. Where is the representation? Sure someone went to Bowie 40 years ago and that’s suppose to be worth something – but it isn’t.

The board of trustees has appealed the commissioner’s decision. Recently, their appeal was denied. Now it need clearance from the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.

There were many questions why the commissioner would remove the board six month before the election.

Why not let the voters decide? Instead, you have a cadre of white liberals calling for removal.

But again, sure they care about Bowie students, but what else do they care about?

Underpinning Interests of El Paso’s Elite

We asked around and for Shapleigh and Byrd, one needs to think Sanders, Woody Hunt, Paul Foster.

One response we got was, “You need to think about real estate when you think about school districts.”

Most school district elections have voter low turnout and aside from the one in a million “I care about the kids” candidate, school boards have been used by developers, construction companies as a cash cows.

Two rational have been put forth:

1.       The Sanders/Foster/Hunt machine wants valuable property near the airport, property that the school district owns. How better to get a hold of this then to put Suzy Byrd on the board and take it over. Last year (2012), there was a vote in El Paso City Council to on where to put some city services after city hall would be demolished and city services spread across El Paso’s Downtown. A building a block away from Suzy Byrd’s parent’s publishing house was voted upon. We are not 100% sure, but we think Byrd brought forward the motion to buy this building. Her parents were selling their publishing house building for $600,000. The publishing house is a block down from the Galeria San Isidro, the building the city wanted to buy. The Byrd parents shared the same real estate agent who was hired by the city to find suitable properties to relocate city hall services.
This connect the links diagram floated around during the Stadium Scandel

2.       Jefferson High School and Silvia Magnet sits on some of the most valuable property now. A neighborhood that is quickly gentrifying, the Sanders/Foster/Hunt machine may have their eyes on the EPISD property. The question is how to get around one of the most active alumni associations in El Paso. How can we get this public property into the hands of private individuals.


More to come….