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By: Bill MeluginEL PASO, Texas -- An anonymous source provided KFOX14 with several purchase orders detailing the remodeling work that has been done in El Paso Independent School District Superintendent Juan Cabrera's office in the middle of a $17 million budget deficit. The purchase orders show around $9,500 was spent. EPISD confirmed the accuracy of the documents, and said the actual cost may be a little higher because the paperwork didn't include all renovations that took place in the administrative offices area. According to the purchase orders, $3,289 was spent to install a glass showcase with glass shelves and glass doors in Cabrera's office. The documents also show $2,716 was spent to install Mohawk brand carpet in Cabrera's office. Labor and material costs to install that carpet were $,182. Per EPISD specifications, the job had to be done by March 12, and was "to include working Saturday and Sunday if need be in quote price." Another $1,182 was spent on labor and materials to get rid of the previous carpet, and install cove base. More expenditures include $545 to reupholster and reinstall five doors, $396 to include a 150-can capacity beverage center, and a microwave oven, and $261 was spent to install chairs for EPISD attorneys. District officials said they will allow KFOX14 to view Cabrera’s office Thursday and give an itemized list of all expenditures – a big change from the secrecy the public saw within the last week or so. Earlier Wednesday afternoon, EPISD held a budget workshop, and the Board of Managers discussed what do to with the budgets for elementary, middle, and high schools, along with human resources and police services.
The board argued back and forth with elementary and middle school principals who predicted higher enrollment for the upcoming year, meaning higher budget costs, despite a drop in student enrollment throughout the district.
The drop in enrollment was the root of the budget shortfall, due to the fact that EPISD will be receiving millions less in state funding. Board of Managers President Dee Margo said the district wouldn’t be in a multimillion dollar deficit if the Board of Managers were put in place sooner. “There was a protest filed by the former trustees, as a result we were unable to do anything related to the budget last year which were paying a price for here because were in a shortfall,” Margo said.
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