School board races begin warming up

Scott HenryComments

Since municipal elections are usually non-partisan and therefore don’t require party primaries, it will take a couple of several weeks into an election year (such as this one) for items to start to warm up. But Atlantans happen to be seeing some struggling for position-and it is not originating from where one might expect.

As the Atlanta City Council races remain fairly sleepy, candidates are appearing out of the woodwork to operate for that Atlanta Board of your practice. And, due to voluntary retirement by a number of incumbents, we’re certain to visit a nearly fifty-percent turnover in board people.

As the increased attention around the school board is unusual, it certainly isn’t unpredicted within the wake of revelations concerning the CRCT testing scandal and also the recent criminal indictments of thirty-five instructors and managers, including former Superintendent Beverly Hall.

No APS board people happen to be implicated within the wrongdoing, however the body in general is unquestionably viewed as tarnished and it is people, therefore, viewed as susceptible to challengers. That reason alone could explain why LaChandra Butler Burks-who chaired the board throughout the implosion of Hall’s reign-Cecily Harsch-Kinnane, Emmett Manley and Yolanda Manley have made the decision to not run for re-election. Except for Yolanda Manley, others were among Hall’s staunchest supporters.

Once the new APS board takes office the coming year, it will likely be confronted with numerous tough tasks, not minimal being helping restore public confidence within the integrity from the city school system. First of all is going to be selecting a lasting superintendent to exchange the interim boss, Erroll Davis. Other challenges include: determining steps to make the superintendent more answerable towards the board to be able to restore a stride of accountability and figuring out how you can manage the development of charter schools underneath the new condition law.

So, who appears to wish these thankless jobs? In District 1, including the various components of southeast Atlanta symbolized by council districts 1 and a pair of, longtime board veteran Brenda Muhammad is set on keeping her seat against challenger Leslie Grant, a Grant Park mother of two who runs an organization that advocates for dietary education.

In District 2, including downtown Atlanta and surrounding neighborhoods, community activist Byron Amos is running for his first full term after getting winning a unique election against a much better-funded and politically connected opponent to participate the board this year. To date, no challengers have introduced themselves.

In District 3, which stretches from East Lake to Morningside, twentysomething APS history teacher and Princeton-educated wunderkind Matt Westmoreland is wishing to exchange the outgoing Harsch-Kinnane.

In north Atlanta’s District 4, Buckhead real-estate broker Nancy Meister has to date attracted no visible opposition to vie on her seat.

In west Atlanta’s District 5, software developer Raynard Manley aims to capture the seat held by Butler Burks.

In District 6, including a lot of south Atlanta, no candidates have surfaced to exchange Yolanda Manley.

Courtney British, the at-large Seat 7 incumbent, has been challenged by Nisha Simama, who had been briefly hired for everyone around the board this year until a unique election might be held for District 2. A longtime teacher and counselor in the Paideia School, she’s married to former city Councilman Jabari Simama.

Board Chairman Reuben McDaniel III, who holds at-large Seat 8, to date doesn’t have opposition, with no you have yet come toward succeed the exiting Emmett Manley in Seat 9.

Obviously, we’re able to be missing someone, so don’t hesitate to fix any oversights.



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