Retired NISD Superintendent Dr. John Folks calls on lawmakers to act

Folks supports teacher leeway, not mandates

Author: Ursula Pari, Anchor, upari@ksat.com
Published On: Aug 14 2012 04:17:16 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 14 2012 05:33:35 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

Former Northside Independent School District Superintendent Dr. John Folks has been retired for more than a month, but he is still acting on behalf of children in Texas' educational needs.

Folks spoke Tuesday at the Christian Business Chamber of Commerce at the Community Bible Church, addressing the issues that face school kids in the next legislative session.

He says lawmakers are faced with huge options, including whether to cut district funding more or go the other way.

“Are we going to try to restore some of the $5.4 billion that we cut out of public education?” he asked.

The other option is to fund the expansion of education to accommodate an exploding population.

On the imminent mandatory testing program that goes into effect in full this school year, Folks was equally outspoken.

He wants limits placed to give kids and teachers more leeway into what happens in the classroom instead of mandates.

“Thank goodness we are all not the same, but yet in Texas we want to put every student in the same box, teach them the same thing, and test them with the same test,” he noted.

He also says he is strongly in favor of the city’s new Pre-K 4 SA initiative that would allow the city to collect sales tax to pay for a full day preschool for qualified children, a controversial proposal being offered my Mayor Julian Castro.

Folks says with the massive cuts in the last legislative session to preschool funding, this is a program who’s time must come.

“With that kind of cut, for the City of San Antonio to step in an say we want to help our school districts, I think that is very admirable,” Folks complimented.