Kamrani not running for re-election as HISD trustee

There are now two open HISD Trustee seats up for election this fall as District I incumbent Natasha Kamrani announces that she will step down after this term.

HISD Trustee Natasha Kamrani, who is completing her first term on the school board, has confirmed to me that she will not be seeking re-election. “I feel like there’s a lot of opportunity to impact public education outside the board,” said Kamrani, the former Houston executive director of Teach for America who has ruffled the feathersof the Houston Federation of Teachers during her board tenure.

Alma Lara, the former principal of HISD’s Ketelsen Elementary, has filed to run for Kamrani’s District I seat. Lara has won the HFT’s support but not Kamrani’s. “There’s been some people who’ve expressed interest the seat, and I really hope they will get involved in the race,” Kamrani said. “We definitely need people who put the needs of children above special interests.”

Lara retired from HISD after 35 years in public education. Her campaign Web site highlights HISD’s dropout problem. “I hope to work with the school board to seek alternatives that will help students stay in school,” she says on her Web site. “It will take a collaborative effort with all stakeholders in the Houston community to find programs for creating a ‘Zero Tolerance’ culture to dropouts.”

As I said before, Kamrani is a friend of mine, and I’m sorry to see her depart. I think she did a lot of good work; if she was a feather-ruffler, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’ll be doing an interview with her shortly – an exit interview, I suppose – in which we’ll discuss her tenure and what she plans to do next. I also look forward to meeting Ms. Lara and any other candidates for this seat.

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