Atlanta voters decide Board of Education seats
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Voters in the city of Atlanta went to the polls Tuesday night to elect new members of the city’s Board of Education.
The new board will have the daunting responsibility of hiring a new superintendent. Last summer, the board told Dr. Lisa Herring they weren’t renewing her contract after just two years as superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools. The board appointed Dr. Danielle Battle as interim superintendent in August.
Districts 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 were on the ballot, though District 1 incumbent Katie Howard ran unopposed.
District 5 incumbent Erika Yvette Mitchell and District 9 incumbent Jessica Johnson both won their races. District 3 incumbent Michelle Olympiadis lost her race to challenger Ken Zeff.
In the District 7 race, Tamara Jones received 48 percent of votes, with challenger Alfred Brooks trialing at 47 percent, likely leading to a runoff.
Zeff is a former superintendent of Fulton County Schools and is focused on improving leadership at the top.
“The board has two responsibilities: hire and fire the superintendent and approve a budget. And I think in both cases, the board has lost its way,” Zeff said.
A new superintendent is slated to be hired by next summer.
“All of us are looking for the perfect fit and I don’t know what that really means,” Mitchell said. “I believe that you get a superintendent that does the priority of the board. And right now our priority is literacy. So we really have to focus on a superintendent that is literacy-focused, that is student-focused, that wants to be involved in making sure that the oversight of the administration is doing exactly what needs to be done for our students to be successful.”
The board oversees 50,000 students and allocates a $1.6 billion yearly budget.
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