Education

After Election, Cobb County School Board Turns ‘Bluer’

Charisse Davis, Cobb County School Board candidate for district six, speaks with WABE reporter Martha Dalton at Gwinnett County School Board candidate Everton Blair's campaign event at The Gathering Spot in Atlanta, Thursday, September 27, 2018. (Photo: Cory Hancock)
Charisse Davis, Cobb County School Board candidate for district six, speaks with WABE reporter Martha Dalton at Gwinnett County School Board candidate Everton Blair's campaign event at The Gathering Spot in Atlanta, Thursday, September 27, 2018. (Photo: Cory Hancock)
Credit Cory Hancock / WABE
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Georgia wasn’t exactly hit by a ‘blue wave’ during the mid-term elections. However, parts of the state turned a little bluer. One race that drew more Democratic voters was the Cobb County school board race.

For years, the seven-member board had six Republicans and one Democrat. After Tuesday’s election, it will have three Democrats and four Republicans.

Democrat Jaha Howard won a May primary race to represent Cobb’s second district. He will replace Republican Susan Thayer, who’s stepping down. David Morgan, a Democrat and longtime board member, was not up for re-election. In District 6, Democrat Charisse Davis unseated Republican incumbent and former board chair Scott Sweeney. In District 4, Republican David Chastain held off a challenge from Democrat Cynthia Parr to keep his post.

Charisse Davis says the board is starting to reflect the community it serves a little more.

“One of Cobb County’s greatest strengths is our diversity, and that [school board] representation hasn’t reflected the level of diversity in our county,” Davis said. “I know that Cobb County’s changing. Many of us feel like this is a great thing.”

62 percent of students in the Cobb County School District are students of color. Davis says their communities need to have a voice on the board.

“I think people will feel more connected to who their representatives are when they know that their community is being represented,” she said. “It does help when there are people there that look like you.”

Davis says one of her priorities when she joins the board will be working to expand early education, including the state’s Pre-Kindergarten program.

The new term for school board members starts in January.