If you live within the El Paso Independent School District as we do, you will notice that 44.4% of your property tax bill supports K-12 education.

Since we are curious taxpayers, we did a little research on EPISD.

STUDENT ENROLLMENT PLUMMETS BUT COSTS INCREASE

According to the 2022-2023 budget book of EPISD, there are 48,822 students enrolled, down from 58,549 in 2018, a decline of 16.6% in only 5 years!

Comparing that budget book with the 2017-2018 budget book of five years ago, we learn that the number of school campuses has dropped from 92 to 76.

Meanwhile, in the last five years the EPISD budget has increased 6.2% to $617,949,786.

The debt servicing portion of expenditures has increased from 18.3% to 23.2%.

The administrative overhead has risen from 5.46% of the budget to 6.52%, and the portion of the budget earmarked specifically for instruction has declined from 49.5% to 47.5%.

Incredibly, in the same five-year period, the number of employees has increased from approximately 8,000 to around 9,000. (The precise figures are omitted from the EPISD budget books).

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2021-2022 the EPISD employed 3,511 classroom teachers (full-time equivalent), which is much less than half the total number of employees.

SHOCKING STATISTICS FOR EMPLOYEE SALARIES

We filed an open records request with EPISD for a complete list of employees, their titles, and their salaries, which I have attached to this email.

The highest paid employee is Superintendent Diana Sayavedra, who earns $320,000 per year. She is followed by many hundreds of administrators and support staff, of which 98 earn over $100,000.

We found that there is not one teacher among the top 472 wage earners.

The highest paid teacher is listed as “Dual Language Kindergarten” and earns $79,759.

Amazingly, there are 56 employees with the title “Temporary Police Officer” who earn $95,200 each! That is significantly more than our City and County police earn chasing criminals down the freeway.

Why does EPISD keep growing in cost and size while the number of students and campuses has declined sharply?

Photo credit: Corrie Boudreaux, El Paso Matters