Palo Alto parent and engineer Srinivasan Subramanian has decided to withdraw from the race for a seat on the Board of Education and has instead endorsed candidate Todd Collins, he wrote in an email to the Weekly on Sunday.
"From the beginning, my purpose behind joining the race was a way to propose new ideas and not for opposing anyone," Subramanian wrote. "After getting to know Todd Collins, his accomplishments and service to the community, I thought it would be better to support his message and augment it with mine."
Subramanian's short-lived campaign was focused primarily on technology and civic engagement. The parent of two and principal engineer at Cisco has advocated for investing further in technology to improve teaching, reduce stress and reach more segments of the community.
Subramanian said he particularly supports Collins' position on resolving the multi-million dollar
budget deficit, the result of overestimated property-tax revenue, that the school board is currently working to address. Collins has urged the board to address the long-term financial impact of the deficit now -- to “face the hard choices and discuss them openly, not just kick the can down the road,” as he said at a board retreat in August.
Subramanian said that he is "not saddened or disappointed" about his decision to withdraw and will continue to stay involved in the schools.
"I would like to spend time listening to the community and bringing them into the discussions, to advocate investing in tools and technologies that would help (make) learning more fun and less stressful, and make a difference that way," he wrote. "I will continue to be involved in our public education system and influence the policies so they benefit every child."
There are now five candidates for three open seats on the school board: Collins, a parent and investment manager; Jennifer DiBrienza, a parent and former teacher; incumbents Melissa Baten Caswell and Heidi Emberling; and Jay Cabrera, a "social entrepreneur" who frequently runs for local office.