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Lincoln students present budget findings to City Council

Lincoln Youth Advisory Council at City Hall

Lincoln Youth Advisory Council at City Hall  Lincoln Youth Advisory Council at City Hall

(EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT -- May 16, 2019) — Students from Lincoln Middle School joined forces with their peers in other school districts to help the El Paso City Council better understand the impact of the budget the city is about to adopt.

The students were part of the Strategic Budget Youth Advisory Program, and on Tuesday they outlined their findings in a year-long process of dissecting the ins and outs of a multi-million budget that operates municipal services.

“It was definitely an experience of a lifetime and it was nerve-wracking to present to the City Council and the people that run this city,” said Lincoln eighth-grader Sam Gutierrez. “It was an interesting experience and we hope we can continue to do this for a long time.”

Since the fall, the students attended overview presentations with key city leaders, filled out surveys designed to capture student feedback, and conducted a simulated strategic visioning session and budget mapping exercise. 

The Lincoln students joined students from Americas High School in the Socorro Independent School District, Canutillo High School in the Canutillo Independent School District, the Young Women’s Leadership Academy in the Ysleta Independent School District and Loretto Academy for the program. More than 200 students took part in the sessions.

Lincoln eighth-grader Isabella Rodriguez said the experience helped her understand how property taxes help keep the city working.

“We learned a lot of about what it takes to operate a budget and goes into taxation,” she said. Maybe now we can go back and explain to other students and our parents what happens when a tax rate is set.”

EPISD Superintendent Juan E. Cabrera attended the presentation at City Hall and walked away impressed with what he saw.

“The work they did and the advice they were able to give the Council and the city leaders is extraordinary,” he said.

Story by Gustavo Reveles
Photos by Leonel Monroy