Northside ISD Superintendent John Folks, one of the state's loudest voices in the fight against draconian cuts to education at the Legislature, announced Wednesday he'll leave the district by the end of the school year. Folks, who has led Bexar County's largest school district since 2002, said in a prepared statement Wednesday he's stepping down to spend more time with family. The announcement comes just months after Folks was named Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards for his stalwart defense of public education in state. During this past legislative session, as lawmakers sought to cut billions from schools, Folks made regular, sometimes daily, trips to Austin to testify on the impact of those cuts (See "The new normal"). And Folks' retirement comes just a month after his district joined a lawsuit aimed at reforming how public education is funded in Texas. “This is a bittersweet and difficult decision for me,” Folks said. “It's especially difficult to step down while school districts are in the midst of another school funding lawsuit to force the state Legislature to fund public education adequately and equitably.” Unlike other districts across the state, NISD avoided layoffs this year even as lawmakers slashed education funding (See "Teachers, administrators watch the budget axe fall"). The district eliminated nearly 1,000 positions through attrition this school year while cutting $61 million from its budget.