It is difficult to keep up with the administrative chaos and financial mismanagement in our local school districts, but we do our best.

Today we learned that Pablo Barrera, Socorro ISD Trustee of District 5, was arrested by the El Paso Sheriff’s Office on charges of “official oppression” and at least one count of “obstruction or retaliation” for alleged actions dating back to May 2022.

Barrera is a disabled United States Marine veteran who served eight years in Delta Battery 214, 2nd Battalion, 14th Marines, exiting with the rank of E5 Sargeant. He was wounded in combat deployments in both Iraq (2005) and Afghanistan (2009). After his discharge, he went on to serve eight years in the Border Patrol before medically retiring in 2018 due to his combat injuries.

Pablo Barrera, SISD Trustee of District 5

Barrera has no criminal record and, as far as we can tell, has worked very hard to expose financial malfeasance and corruption in SISD as a member of the Board of Trustees.

We do not yet know the nature of the charges against him but are extremely suspicious that he may have been targeted for his whistleblower activities.

We have previously reported on the budgetary woes and financial incompetence of SISD and conducted a thorough interview of Trustee Ricardo Castellano of District 3 that has been viewed by more than 3,000 people.

We also learned today that former SISD Superintendent Nate Carman, who had been put on paid leave, was terminated by his new employer, Higley Unified School District, before he was even hired! Their Board rescinded his contract over an alleged conflict of interest while at SISD and his failure to disclose “ongoing reviews of possible misconduct.”


We recently reported that Canutillo ISD has repeatedly violated the Texas Public Information Act, but now there is more.

According to a leading expert on Texas government transparency, the Board of Trustees may have violated open meetings laws on Tuesday when they voted on school consolidations and closures – items not clearly listed on the meeting agenda.”

The vote in question was on whether to consolidate two middle schools and close an elementary school.

Of course, this is the same Board that voted for employee raises without the necessary funds, creating a $6.3 million deficit this fiscal year and an additional $9.6 million next fiscal year.

CISD budget projections, April 23 Budget Workshop

And no, the $386.2 million bond that was just approved by the voters of Canutillo ISD will do nothing to stop the financial bleeding, the outflow of CISD students to other school districts, or the abysmal student proficiency levels.

We are still waiting for CISD to produce the public records we requested on April 7 and will continue pressing the Office of the Attorney General until they comply with State law.