Voters to decide several Atlanta Board of Education seats this November | Everything you need to know

4 of the 5 school board seats up for grabs are contested races
Five of the nine school board member positions are up for grabs, and four of the races are contested.
Published: Oct. 17, 2023 at 6:14 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Overseeing around 50,000 Atlanta students largely lies in the hands of the Board of Education. Now, voters will decide who will sit on that board.

“It’s very important,” Anthony Gamble, a longtime Atlanta resident.

He was at the C.T. Martin Natatorium and Recreation Center polling location during the early voting period on Tuesday and explained why people should vote in this year’s school board election.

“They need to come out, I’m talking in droves,” said Gamble. “You need to come on out for the children.”

Five of the nine school board member positions are up for grabs, and four of the races are contested.

While three of those positions are location-specific, two of those seats are at-large seats.

“We have two at-large seats 7 and 9. Anyone in the city can vote on those two seats,” said Mikayla Arciaga, Georgia advocacy director for the Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA).

🗳️ Who is on the ballot for the Atlanta school board election? 🗳️

District 3 seat

District 5 seat

District 7 at-large seat

District 9 at-large seat

District 1 representative Katie Howard is also on the ballot but she is running unopposed.

Arciage said one of the biggest tasks board members have is overseeing the district’s $1.6 billion budget.

“When I say everyone is impacted it’s because we’re all paying into this and we all benefit when APS is doing well and it’s also our responsibility to hold APS accountable for how those dollars are being used,” said Arciaga.

The Atlanta Board of Education also oversees the school district’s superintendent.

“It’s a huge responsibility,” said Arciaga.

RELATED: What dates do I need to keep in mind for this election? | Full list

In August, an interim superintendent was sworn in after former superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring was informed in June her contract would not be renewed by the Board of Education.

The search continues to find a permanent superintendent.

“It’s really important that we are choosing folks that are going to not just review that budget but also hold that person who’s responsible for all of the day-to-day decisions, which is the superintendent, accountable,” said Arciaga.

Early voting continues with Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 7, and if necessary, a run-off election will be on Dec. 5 for school board candidates.

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