Election Day is May 6 and the Fort Worth Report is committed to keeping you informed through our Election Central.
To help voters make informed decisions at the ballot box, we asked every candidate to respond to a candidate questionnaire intended to touch on the most pressing issues candidates may face while serving in elected office.
Districts 2, 3, 5 and 6 in Fort Worth ISD are all on the ballot. Mar’Tayshia James and Valeria Nevárez are challenging incumbent Quinton “Q” Phillips to represent District 3, which includes the Stop Six area and the most eastern parts of Fort Worth ISD. You can view district maps here.
Elections are coming up. Here are some key dates:
April 24: Early voting begins
May 2: Early voting ends
May 6: Election Day
Name: Quinton “Q” Phillips
Occupation: Executive Director of Community Frontline, Adjunct Professor at Texas Christian University
What are your top three priorities for the school board if you are elected?
- Academics is first and foremost. We have improved a letter grade as a district by state standards but we still have work to do in order to see the true gains we hope to accomplish. With new goals and metrics and support for our new leadership I believe we are on the verge of seeing incredible academic improvement.
- Community investment would be second. We have chosen to make some major infrastructural improvements in District 3 particularly towards our facilities. Continued beatification and functionality to our high school campuses as well as a brand new elementary and middle school. Our district is getting long overdue upgrades and I want to ensure that District 3 gets all that is needed for our young people and our neighborhoods.
- Lastly is leadership. We are currently at a spot where consistency in leadership, culture, and resources can elevate our school district to tops in the state. I want to continue to add to the momentum that has been built and see our progress lead to achievement we can all be proud of.
Gov. Greg Abbott has voiced support for an education savings account program that would allow parents to use taxpayer dollars to pay for private school tuition and other education-related expenses. What are your thoughts on the possible impact on public schools?
Utilizing dollars that are set aside for public education to further bolster private education would have a devastating impact on public schools. In most conversations I have with constituents and various community members the overwhelming sentiment is that public education is not funded well enough in its current state. Any initiative that would further reduce what is already viewed as scarce resources could prove to be catastrophic to already underserved communities.
What do you think the Legislature should do for public education?
I believe the Legislature should focus on helping school districts improve school safety measures. There are far too many instances where our young people and employees are in danger and tragically losing their lives. We need to take a look as an entire state on ways to ensure that everyone in our schools are as safe as possible at all times.
I also believe that we need accountability measures that take into account the entire student and not simply a snapshot that is provided by high stakes testing. So much more goes into student success than what is captured by state mandated testing.
And, of course, as always, more funding for public education. We need more funding to continue to pay invaluable employees fair, competitive, livable wages and supply all the materials necessary for student success.
Trustees make decisions on the vendors a school district uses. If elected, how would you ensure you remain free of any conflict of interest while you serve?
I will make sure to remain free of conflict just like I was able to do in my first term. The best way of doing so is to let the Superintendent do their job by selecting programming and services that they feel will best lead to the student outcomes we seek. As well as allowing vendors to follow the procurement procedures already in place.
How do you think your district can improve its conflict of interest and ethics policies?
We have good policies in place currently. What is needed is for us to ensure we follow our policies. I believe that the board as currently constructed is really trying to stick to the policies in place.
More people are attending school board meetings to voice their opinions. How would you manage giving people a chance to speak their concerns but still keep meetings civil?
I believe we should encourage people to speak at board meetings. People have the right to speak and as representatives we should make it our business to hear what people have to say. For me, it does not matter whether or not I agree with what is being said, I will defend the right for people to be able to be heard. The best way to have civility is for the board to first model civility. If we act with respect, decorum and integrity then we will see that ultimately be the tone that is set.
How would you handle voters disagreeing with a policy you approve?
If voters disagree with a policy that I approve, I would take the time to listen to why they may disagree and attempt to learn from their point of view. I would also try to explain my position as well to maybe provide more clarity into my decision making. The key is to enter into dialogue and not debate. In debate, there is a winner and a loser, someone wants to merely win the argument or be proven right. In dialogue, I can hear your point of view and you can hear mine and even if we disagree, we can learn from one another and feel like we have been heard and acknowledged.
You can find other candidates’ responses by reading our voter guide here. The candidate’s responses may be edited for grammar.