Parents rally to save Alum Rock school superintendent

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Claiming that she is an extraordinary educator, a group of parents in San Jose's Alum Rock Elementary School District are rallying to keep Dr. Hilaria Bauer from being fired at a district board meeting Tuesday evening.

Parents, such as Flor DeLeon, held a news conference in front of the district's Gay Avenue offices. They were joined by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Vice Mayor Magdalena Carrasco, arguing that to fire Dr. Bauer would be disruptive to the education of the district's 11,000 students and would derail Dr. Bauer's efforts to investigate and correct alleged conflict-of-interest in issuing construction contracts.

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The parents say three board members stand against the superintendent while two others support her. It would take only three votes to terminate Dr. Bauer, whose contract was recently extended for two years. One of the three board members parents say is against Dr. Bauer stood off to the side at the news conference, board president Esau Herrera. He told ABC7 News he is open-minded and wants to hear discussion from the full board in closed session as part of the special board meeting Tuesday evening.

The Alum Rock district has been investigated by the county's Office of Education. An ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, and, last week, two state representatives from the area, Assemblymember Ash Kalra and State Senator Jim Beall, announced they will seek authority to have a state audit done.

On Friday, two parents, including Flor DeLeon who spoke at the news conference, signed formal complaints with District Attorney Jeff Rosen and with the state's Fair Political Practices Commission. Allegations have been raised about non-competitive bids worth millions of dollars to a construction company for school building projects.

School board president Herrera told ABC7 News that the District Attorney's Office has been working on its investigation for over a year, and if they had found something wrong, he believes something would have surfaced by now. The District Attorney's Office, as of deadline, has not responded to a request from ABC7 News.

Superintendent Bauer said she is not thinking about what will happen at the board meeting; instead, she is focusing on moving the district forward for the next three years. "That's my job," she said.
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