Fort Bliss Gen. Pittard talks about EPISD concerns with parents

Fort Bliss Commanding General opens up about concerns over EPISD

EL PASO, Texas - Major General Dana Pittard is keeping an eye on what's happening at the El Paso Independent School District.

The Fort Bliss commander talked about the school district when he spoke at a luncheaon with local media this week. He answered questions about the challenges and benefits for Fort Bliss students.

"Obviously, we're concerned about that because we want our schools to reflect our values," Pittard said of the recent problems at the El Paso Independent School District.

He said the recent guilty plea of former EPISD superintendent Lorenzo Garcia is definitely troubling.

"We hope for the best for the El Paso school district," Pittard said. "But we want our schools to reflect our values and if that is still not the case, then we're going to have to look at other options. There's other school districts where we could look where we could look at sending our children, but right now, we're okay with the El Paso school district."

In the 2011-'12 school year, more than 6,000 children of military families were enrolled in EPISD schools. That's about 9 percent of the student population.

The district also has 14 military family liaisons who help students transition and adjust to the new schools, according to a district spokeswoman.

"The choices for our families here are the most choices for any other troop installation in our country," Pittard said.

El Paso has more education options than other posts and Pittard, an El Paso native, said El Paso schools have something valuable to offer military families.

"A surprising number of families come in and say 'oh yeah, bad school district, bad schools', and I say 'oh yeah? I went to one of them' and I'm proud of that and so did the governor of New Mexico and I can name a slew of other people and it just depends on what school you go to. Make informed choices."

Fort Bliss' website also has national metrics and ratings for each school so that parents can make educated choices.

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