NEA conducts EPISD teacher survey

Teachers throughout EPISD are being asked what they think about their district's performance.

EL PASO, Texas - Teachers at Bassett Middle School are being asked what they think about their district's performance.    

The National Education Association is the nation's largest employee organization and is surveying the largest school district in El Paso, El Paso Independent School District. 

The NEA is surveying the majority of EPISD's 95 schools and asking teachers top issues they come across in the classroom.

The following is a sample of one of the questions the NEA asked Thursday:

"If you could change three things about the district, you have the power to change, you have the finances to change, you have the personnel to change, what kinds of things would you like to see changed?" 

In Thursday's survey, teachers mentioned problems with EPISD's health care plan, the Teacher Retirement System's ActiveCare, which they say is expensive.

But this is the only plan offered by the district and many feel trapped. They're hoping to collect enough signatures to override the board's decision to go with ActiveCare.

Other issues that came up were the desire for less testing, the need for more tutors in math and science, and technology in the classrooms. 

Teachers also mentioned job security as a concern, particularly in the fine arts department, where teachers say there's less and less funding.

"I feel like since I'm a fine arts instructor, that sometimes we're being pushed out of the curriculum," said Bassett Middle Orchestra teacher Walter Semon. "But in general, job security, if it keeps going this way we don't know where our musicians are going to be."

The NEA is going to take its findings, crunch the numbers and present the results to the board.

"I can only speak for myself," board member Alfredo Borrego said. "Everywhere I'm invited, I attend. I attended quite a few meetings in my area to hear all the issues and see what we can work out to move this district forward."

Its unclear how accurate these results will be since most teachers told ABC-7 they're afraid to speak to openly for fear of retaliation. 

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