W.F.I.S.D. Candidate Forum - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

W.F.I.S.D. Candidate Forum

It was a packed room Tuesday night at Wichita County Democratic headquarters as four candidates running for Wichita Falls Independent School District participated in a candidate forum.

Candidates Bill Franklin, Kerry Maroney, Elizabeth Yeager and incumbent Allyson Flack all participated in the forum. Each is running for the two at Large seats on the school board.

The forum was sponsored by the Texas Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.

To start the forum each candidate was given three minutes to give opening statements.

After opening statements Tom Wisdom, a local pastor in Wichita Falls moderated the event. Each candidate was asked the same questions and given two minutes to respond.  

One of the questions asked, how will they address the increasing deficit of low-income kids being exposed to a certain number of words than their peers of higher social economic backgrounds?

Allyson Flack, incumbent for W.F.I.S.D. school board, answered, “Start as early as we can to bring them into programs where there is going to be reading. There's going to be teachers that read to them a little more often." 

Bill Franklin, W.F.I.S.D. candidate believes more teachers will improve student performance.

"More teachers that have the time to spend with the students that are challenged,” said Franklin.

Kerry Maroney, W.F.I.S.D. candidate, thinks proper oversight is key.

"As a district, we need to recognize and be able to identify the barriers that are facing these students," said Maroney. 

Elizabeth Yeager, candidate for W.F.I.S.D. school board believes early exposure may make the difference.

"If we can get these students in the school building when they're two or three years old, I would hope would hope we can make some of that deficit," said Yeager.     

When each candidate was asked, what they believe is the top three challenges the district will face in the next three years? All candidates agreed attracting and retaining good teachers was a major priority.

However, each candidate has a different idea on how to do so.

Franklin believes partnerships with the local community can help bridge the gap.

"Maybe we need to offer scholarship programs with Midwestern State University and concurrent with private enterprises," said Franklin.

Yeager said there needs to be more focus on academics. Whereas her opponents believe infrastructure is essential. 

"It’s critical that we provide our students and teachers with the right resources they need to be successful and it’s more than bricks and mortar," said Yeager.

"Once we get these qualified teachers in there one of the things that will hold them here is giving them facilities to work in," said Maroney.

"Close some of the older buildings that we're pouring dollar after dollar into. That we will have some money to spend on our teachers, administrators on or classrooms," said Flack.   

Early voting will for the May 10th election will continue through May 6th.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6

Upcoming Events:

On next Tuesday, May 6 at 7 p.m. at the Hotel at Wichita Falls the Hispanic Coalition – African American Education Coalition will be hosting a forum.
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