Canutillo ISD has placed a $386 million bond on the ballot for the May 4 election. Voters should reject this bond just as they rejected the District’s previous two bonds, which lost by more than 20 percentage points.

The current population of Canutillo ISD is approximately 39,000 residents, which means that if the $386 million bond were to pass, every man, woman, and child would assume thousands of dollars of debt plus interest. There are plenty of businesses there that pay property tax, but not enough to prevent residential homeowners from feeling the pain of a tax increase.

Canutillo ISD claims that the average homeowner will pay only $38.04 per year in additional tax, but we simply do not believe them.

We learned in January that the District faces a $6 million budget deficit, but at their April 16 Work Session we learned that there will be an additional shortfall of $9.9 million in FY 2024-2025.

Claudia Lorena Silva of El Paso Matters reported that “The district’s financial problems partly came about after the CISD school board approved a budget in June that gave district employees a raise in the hopes the state Legislature would use its $32.7 billion surplus to approve additional school funding before the end of 2023.”

So the Board of Trustees voted for raises because they hoped the money would be there.

Imagine if corporate boards in the private sector operated like this!

The June vote is a sign of professional incompetence and is totally indefensible. Armando Rodriguez, the Board President who has been bullying businesses that oppose the bond, should tender his resignation along with Superintendent Pedro Galaviz and CFO Martha Piekarski.


According to the Texas Education Agency, nearly 30% of students residing within Canutillo ISD are enrolled in schools elsewhere, mostly in EPISD. Claudia Lorena Silva reports that 1,800 students residing within Canutillo ISD were enrolled in EPISD and other districts in 2022-23, whereas in the current academic year the figure increased to 2,300.

There are only about 5,900 students remaining in Canutillo ISD, and dropping.

It is perplexing that in spite of its budget shortfall and other financial challenges, Canutillo ISD is earmarking $100,000 to send 200 students on a field trip to San Antonio!

Shouldn’t the District be spending every available dollar on improving student outcomes?

Why are Canutillo families sending their children to be educated in other school districts? Is it really because there are no Canutillo ISD schools in close proximity to them, as the District claims, or because parents believe their children will receive a better education elsewhere?

Why is Canutillo ISD suing the Texas Education Agency to prevent the release of new accountability ratings? What do they fear?


A much better solution for Canutillo ISD would be to merge it with EPISD and eliminate the Board of Trustees, Superintendent, and most of the administration in the process, then there would be no need to burden the taxpayers with a massive bond in order to “save” the District.

The savings from the merger and the liquidation of unneeded assets could be used to increase teacher salaries while lowering the school property tax for residents.

The voters should reject this bond because the District is poorly managed and cannot be trusted to disburse such a large sum of money.

Today is the last day of early voting. Election Day is May 4.

PHOTO: Jaime Aguirre stands next to a sign posted on his business property in Canutillo.