The School Board plans to meet next week to discuss what steps it will take if it needs to hire a new superintendent.
Banda and the district announced Friday that he is a finalist for the job of superintendent of the Sacramento City Unified School District.
"This is not an easy letter for me to write. Over the past two years I have really valued the professional and personal satisfaction I have received while working with you on behalf of our students. Considering a move is a very difficult decision for me, but being a superintendent in California puts me closer to my family," Banda wrote in a letter to the community.
But in an interview with KUOW, Banda left little doub that he wants the Sacramento job.
"I think there's never a good time to leave," Banda told KUOW.
"Sacramento is an opportunity to go back to California, an opportunity to be closer to family," Banda said. "As I near the latter part of my career, it's an opportunity to get back into the retirement system that I spent almost my entire career in.",
The Sacramento district's board had planned to vote to hire a new superintendent on Thursday night, but delayed that decision. The Sacramento Bee reported that the board's president wanted a delay so that the board could make a "fully informed decision."
The Sacramento board is now scheduled to hire a superintendent on July 17.
Sharon Peaslee, president of the Seattle School Board, also released a letter, saying that she understood Banda's wish to be closer to his family in California.
"If the Board of Education in Sacramento does decide to hire him, they will not be disappointed.
"I want to assure our families, staff and community that the (Seattle) board will quickly create a plan to ensure continued stability for our district. We will meet early next week to talk about next steps. I have a lot of faith in the current leadership team to continue working on behalf of our students. The board will work together with staff and the community to make sure we find another strong leader to guide the district and continue the momentum toward achieving the goals in our strategic plan."
Banda became the Seattle superintendent in July 2012, coming from Anaheim, Calif., where he held a similar job. He makes $270,000 a year in Seattle.