Alum Rock Union Elementary School District trustee Andrea Flores Shelton announced in an email to supporters Friday that she will not seek re-election to the school board.
She wrote that her time on the board "has been a great experiment for me and my family" but would be unable to commit to another four years.
Flores Shelton's will term out of her seat at the end of this year, leaving an upcoming election with no incumbent. The announcement was motivated in part, she told San Jose Inside, because Friday is the last day to pull papers, which means anyone interested in running for the seat will have until Wednesday to do so.
Flores Shelton was appointed to a vacant seat on Alum Rock's board in November 2012, after Darcie Green was appointed to the Santa Clara County Board of Education. Before that, Flores Shelton worked as a deputy chief for ex-county Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. Despite a pervasive lack of accountability and illegal activity within that office, the trial to put Shirakawa in jail last year revealed that Flores Shelton was one of the few staffers to actively push for him to come in line with expenditure policies.
She promised in her email Friday to maintain a role volunteering in the community.
"I will continue my public service through my neighborhood advocacy and church involvement, as well as through my professional violence prevention work, and as a parent leader," she wrote.
Below is the full email Andrea Flores Shelton sent Friday:
Friends and supporters –
I will not be running to retain my seat on the Alum Rock School Board. Since being appointed in November 2012, my time as a Trustee has been a great experiment for me and my family. I cannot commit to another 4 years. I am proud that I will fulfill my term and commitment to my community and to the District as a school board member. I will continue my public service through my neighborhood advocacy and church involvement, as well as through my professional violence prevention work, and as a parent leader. As one of the most important women in my life, Ann McEntee reminded me, "there are many ways to make social change."
Since December 2012, the Alum Rock School Board has made crucial decisions: closure of schools, redesign of middle schools, opening new charter schools, not opening new charter schools, directing $25 million in capitol bond projects, reflecting the community’s needs in the local control accountability plan, ensuring the budget reflects the community's values and needs AND most importantly, the hiring of a new Superintendent, Dr. Hilaria Bauer. She is a true change agent and community member dedicated to the children of Alum Rock. With her leadership and the Board’s support of her, Alum Rock is on the road to stability.
My collaborative approach with this governance team has delivered a vision of a transformed Alum Rock School District where all students are on track for college and career readiness, technology is widely available and used in the classroom, where all families feel welcome in their neighborhood schools and proud of its accomplishments. Alum Rock serves its students and families with innovative approaches to meet the needs of English language learners and vulnerable families, we learn from each other and partners on how to improve our practices in the classroom. Alum Rock does not settle for second best, Alum Rock is a stellar school district and strives for excellence. Being underfunded for decades means we are always determining what are the necessary steps and most prudent use of funds to obtain this vision.
I am most proud of three things:
1. Authoring the translation and interpretation services section of the Parent Engagement Policy and ensuring adequate funding for implementation this year.
2. Implementation of a full-day kindergarten pilot last year and due to recent labor negotiations, ALL elementary schools will have extended kindergarten and an aide to support the classroom.
3. Defending transparency with the public's funds and being an advocate for clear, open processes that bring decisions in front of the public.
Most people won't know about these issues because without question, the issue that demands the most attention and time from an Alum Rock Board member is charter schools. I have voted in support of (ACE, KIPP, DCP) and found others to not meet the needs of the district and therefore did not support those charters. I know Alum Rock has a future side by side with existing charter schools.
Alum Rock will be served well by those that understand the power of relationship building and relationship management and will be unrelenting in the process to bring decision-making into the clearest light as a representative of our community's diverse needs and perspectives. I stand ready to support those qualified candidates that will fulfill this vision.
I thank you for your support throughout my term as a Trustee on the Alum Rock School Board, and more importantly I appreciate those times when I was pressed on difficult decisions that greatly impact our community. It has been an honor and privilege to represent the needs of the students and their parents on the ARUSD School Board and I look forward to continuing to serve in a different capacity.
Andrea Flores Shelton