District 2 candidate Celina Basant of Spring Hill today announced she was withdrawing her candidacy from the school board race and endorsed Regina Holley of Highland Park for the District 2 board seat.  Basant issued the following statement:

This announcement comes after taking may factors into consideration. My husband recently took a job with West Virginia University, and as a result, opportunities arise to be involved in various educational projects between Pittsburgh and West Virginia.

To be fair and to be able to give 100% to all students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools I can no longer pursue election to the board.

I have spoken to both Dara Ware Allen and Regina Holley and find them both to be outstanding individuals with exceptional service to the students of Pittsburgh Public Schools.

However, for Pittsburgh Public Schools to be successful in putting forth initiatives that will allow it to become a premier school district, it’s going to take someone with sound experience in education within our school system as well as the fortitude to stand up for what is right for our students and teachers.

It will also take someone that, given our financial situation will keep our school taxes as low as possible.

I believe that Dr. Regina Holley is that person and has my endorsement.

Our ideology and the direction that we hope to see the Pittsburgh Public Schools move are strongly aligned. Regina and I believe that schools should be run with shared governance and that principals, through shared leadership with their staff, should have more academic freedom/autonomy in setting policies to serve their population. We also agree that when it comes to education, it is definitely not a “one size fits all” model.

Last, we both agree that the Pittsburgh Public Schools central office is “top heavy” and that deeper cuts must be made in order to close our deficit. We must also strengthen accountability for those in charge.
I would ask that my supporters cast a vote for Regina Holley, on May 17th.

Thank you.

For more on the school board race, check out The Chronicle’s past coverage here.