First-term Minneapolis school board member Don Samuels said Wednesday that he will not seek re-election this fall.
Samuels said he wanted to devote more time to his family and his work at MicroGrants, a private nonprofit where he serves as CEO.
He is also working on a book, set to come out next year.
“I’m grateful I had an opportunity to serve,” Samuels said. “I hope young people of high energy and good will consider running and provide unselfish leadership.”
Teachers and families have lauded Samuels for his outspokenness and for creating transparency in the district.
A few months back, however, Samuels, a former City Council member, was criticized for not voting for a resolution that called for reinstating several educators of color who lost their jobs during budget cuts. “Our job is policymaking, not hiring and firing,” he said, defending his decision.
Samuels, who ran an unsuccessful race for mayor in 2013, also has been an active figure in the city’s North Side neighborhood. At one point, he spurred outrage when he said that North High School should be burned down because it failed to teach black males. He later made amends and said he wanted to see major changes for the school.
Samuels noted his data-driven expertise and informing the public about the district’s policies as some of his major accomplishments. He said the district’s projected $33 million budget gap weighs heavily on him.
There are nine seats on the school board. Samuels has one of two at-large seats that are up for election this fall.