LaShae Collins, a staff member in Assemblywoman Shirley Weber’s office, will make a run for Marne Foster’s seat on the San Diego Unified school board.

“I want to bring the focus back to kids instead of the adults,” Collins said. “This needs to be done.”

Collins announced her decision earlier this week at a Democratic Central Committee meeting and said she first decided to run a few weeks ago.

School board candidates don’t officially file paperwork with San Diego Registrar of Voters until mid-February, but so far Collins is the only person to announce her intention to challenge Foster for sub-district E, which covers a swath of the San Diego southeastern neighborhoods.

Foster has been embroiled in controversy since last year amid various allegations that she abused her power as a school board member. Foster has been accused of meddling in affairs at a school her sons attended, inappropriately hosting a private fundraiser to benefit her sons and secretly authoring a complaint against the district, seeking $250,000 in compensation.

In December, San Diego’s district attorney opened a criminal investigation into Foster’s activities, the findings of which have not yet been disclosed. Foster did not immediately return a request for comment on the race or confirm that she still intends to run for re-election.

Collins grew up in San Diego and is an alumnus of Lincoln High school. She holds a bachelors and master’s degree from San Diego State, where she is currently a doctoral candidate studying educational leadership. She’s volunteered in San Diego Unified schools, which her children attend. She has also been active in the local branch of the NAACP.

Collins is currently the district director for Weber, who once served on the San Diego Unified School board. She said she’s worked with Weber since 2002, and has learned lessons from Weber that she will apply to the position if she wins.

“(Weber) is very open-minded. She really listens and she’s always open-minded. But she always does her homework. She finds out the issues first, and goes from there. And that’s what I intend to do,” Collins said.

Mario was formerly an investigative reporter for Voice of San Diego. He wrote about schools, children and people on the margins of San Diego.

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