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EPISD extends Superintendent Lorenzo García's contract
June 22, 2010

In a vote of confidence in his administration, the EPISD school board tonight voted to extend Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia's contract.

Written by Times Staff Reporter, The El Paso Times


UPDATE: In a vote of confidence in his administration, the EPISD school board tonight voted to extend Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia's contract.

Garcia's pay will remain the same. His contract was extended to three years.

Read a full story in Wednesday's El Paso Times.


Earlier story: EL PASO -- Trustees of the El Paso Independent School District will decide today whether to extend Superintendent Lorenzo García's contract.

García's contract is up in two years, but school board members evaluate his work and compensation plan at the end of every school year and decide whether to extend the contract. The discussion will happen in closed session.

"This is the time where we review the goals that we set for him," said Patricia Hughes, president of the board.

García makes an annual salary of $280,000 and receives incentives for increasing employees' salaries and improving student performance.

Employees will not receive a raise next school year, but board members will reward García with more money if they agree that he met goals for standardized test scores, for instance.

Hughes said she has seen positive change under García's administration and replacing him would negatively affect the district.

"I think any time you have a change in leadership it sets the school district back," she said. "Our scores are on the rise. We've had amazing success."

EPISD, however, is under financial pressure. Last week's rejection of a property tax increase has forced officials to tighten the budget by cutting $18 million.

A meeting of the board's business services committee at 4 p.m. today, right before the weekly meeting, will go over two items to cut money in the budget -- employee compensation and the closure of elementary schools.

Three elementary schools -- Zavala, Houston and Schuster -- could close to save the district about $2 million.

School board members will possibly decide on the schools' fate today.

The tax increase election also sparked attacks by Texas Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, who said EPISD should not receive more money from taxpayers.

Shapleigh said the central administration salaries were bloated, and accused García of slant-ing standardized tests by excluding students with poor English from taking them.

García denied the accusations and said that Shapleigh's claims were unsubstantiated.

Trustees will also appoint another member to the board to replace Carlos Flores, who left the District 3 seat vacant in April.

Adriana Gómez Licón may be reached at; 546-6129.

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