Fenenbock, teacher union feud continues

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) - The feud continues between the former president of the EPISD school board and the leadership of a major local teacher union.

Thursday, Dori Fenenbock who is running for Congress filed to put her name on the ballot for the March 6 Democratic primary. She also reiterated she is not actively seeking the endorsement of the El Paso American Federation of Teachers, or AFT.

The reason: a leaked AFT email KTSM reported on two weeks ago written by federation president Ross Moore, calling on union members to "turn EPISD employees against" Fenenbock and Superintendent Juan Cabrera over the pair's openness to charter schools.

"I'm saddened and ashamed and I think we should all be embarrassed by the tactics, by the leadership of AFT to undermine the progress that we've made at EPISD for what I believe is purely political reasons," Fenenbock told KTSM. "We're gonna go directly to the teachers, themselves, and earn their support."

Moore has said he feels charter schools would harm the district, disrupt campus funding, and jeopardize teacher jobs.

"I'm trying to keep the district from being eaten up by companies," Moore told KTSM in a November 16 interview. The El Paso Times reported Monday the AFT is not considering Fenenbock for an endorsement because she did not submit a candidate questionnaire.

Fenenbock said if elected to congress, she would remain open to the idea of charter schools within public school districts, but with proper oversight.

"At EPISD, I said, 'we will look at anything and everything that has the potential to improve the lives of and help children learn,'" Fenenbock said. "I don't think anything should be off the table."

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