5 Atlanta Board of Education seats on Tuesday’s ballot
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - On Tuesday, voters will elect a new Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education.
Districts 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 are on the ballot, though District 1 incumbent Katie Howard is running unopposed.
“I’m running again because there is still work that we need to do as school board members,” current District 5 representative Ericka Mitchell said. “I’m here to serve. That’s the only reason I’m on the school board.”
All five incumbents are hoping to maintain their positions on the board, including District 7 at large board member Tamara Jones.
“I was elected two years ago and one of the main things I was focused on was literacy. And it takes a little more than one year and ten months to get some major work through,” Jones said.
Four of the five races are contested. Ken Zeff is running for District 3.
“The board has 2 responsibilities: hire and fire the superintendent and approve a budget. And I think in both cases, the board has lost its way,” Zeff said.
Zeff is a former superintendent of Fulton County Schools and is focused on improving leadership at the top. District 9 candidate, Nkoyo Effiong Lewis says she wants to help design a school system that works for every child.
“It is my goal to make sure that we have an equitable school system that delivers excellence so that no matter where a child lives, no matter their race, their place, or their ability, they get access to an excellent education,” Effiong Lewis said.
Whoever is elected on Tuesday will be part of the board that oversees 50,000 students, allocates a 1.6 billion dollar budget, and selects a new APS superintendent.
Dr. Danielle Battle is currently serving as interim APS superintendent. She was appointed in August after Dr. Lisa Herring was notified the board would not be renewing her contract.
“We need a leader who understands the governance functions of the board. Who understands the budget management and federal budget management, specifically. And the compliance that it’s going to take to ensure our district is moving forward in a healthy manner,” current district 9 seat Jessica Johnson said.
Polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday. Should a runoff become necessary, that is scheduled for Dec. 5.
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