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Cabrera blasts misleading information, accuses union president of trying to undermine district

El Paso ISD Superintendent Juan Cabrera blasted the head of a local teacher’s union during a news conference Thursday.

Cabrera criticized what he called “misleading and erroneous” information from Ross Moore, the president of the El Paso Federation of Teachers.

It was a leaked email that led to the bad blood between the EPISD Superintendent and the leader of the city’s largest teacher’s organization.

The email, sent from Moore to the national and state presidents of the El Paso Federation of Teachers, was also sent to six others in key leadership positions.

The email somehow ended up being the focus of an article published by 74 million-dot-org, a non-profit group news website that focuses on education issues in the United States.

In that email, Moore warns of a movement to bring charter schools to EPISD while saying Cabrera is open to the idea.

Moore also names Richard Castro, a businessman who owns many El Paso McDonalds; and Wood Hunt, of Hunt Industries, as financial backers of the charter school push.

Moore writes of a plan to work around Cabrera and (Jose) Lopez, (Cabrera’s chief of staff), if necessary and keep him on the defensive without alienating trustees.

He also suggests a boycott McDonalds campaign and promotes a strategy to publicly embarrass Castro.

Cabrera said Moore is falsely suggesting Cabrera won’t be with the district much longer in an effort to undermine the district.

“(Moore’s) email makes it clear, that on behalf of his organization, Moore intends to undermine district leadership, disrupt our dual-language program and boycott local businesses that support education reform,” said Cabrera.

In January 2017, Cabrera signed a five-year contract extension with the EPISD that included a more than $45,000 raise. The superintendent’s base pay is nearly $350,000 a year, according to ABC-7 archives.

Cabrera is calling for Moore to be removed from his job.

“Let me tell you if this is about charter schools, there is a lot more there than charter schools. The means certainly do not justify the ends. We can have a separate, rational, professional discussion about charter schools, but personal attacks and trying to create wedges in the community, and bringing politics into the school district is unacceptable,” Cabrera said.

“I don’t work for Mr. Cabrera. I don’t have administrators as members. So, I can represent my members interests to the best. Creating a wedge, no,” Moore said.

Cabrera said he admires the work of district employees and teachers. “Our teachers are hard-working people who I know want the children of our community to succeed. This (news conference) is about the harmful and dangerous tactics being used by Ross Moore for his own benefit,” said Cabrera.

Moore said students and teachers are his priority and he will use whatever “legal, viable and moral means” to protect them.

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