EPISD approves $500 million budget without closing schools

Negligence, but no intentional withholding of evidence in first EPISD cheating scheme.

A budget has been approved for the El Paso Independent School District and it doesn’t include shutting down schools.

On Thursday evening, board members met to discuss and take action on the 2018-19 budget.

After a lengthy discussion, a nearly $498 million budget was approved by a 6-1 vote.

Trustee Susie Byrd voted against it.

As we reported, the district announced a $7 million deficit in the budget.

That’s when board members announced a proposal to shut down several schools to make up the money.

After hosting a couple of community meetings on the proposal, the board was set to vote on the controversial plan Thursday.

It was postponed.

The district came up with a plan to move $5.9 million from their rainy day fund over to the general fund, along with cuts made from other areas to make up the deficit.

“We pulled money out of our savings account, our general fund account to offset the savings that we would’ve realized if we were to move forward with school consolidations this year,” said EPISD board President Trent Hatch.

He said this does not mean the school closures proposal won’t come up again.

In fact, he said it’s something they will look at again.

He said he’s also recommending that the board start looking at the budget in August rather than January to give them time to work through budget issues.

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