Early voting began this week in the race for the Atlanta Board of Education’s District 2 seat.
The seat has been vacant since former school board member Byron Amos resigned at the beginning of the year to run for a seat on the Atlanta City Council. He lost that election.
The school board vacancy drew nine candidates for a special election on Sept. 17. Now two candidates remain in the Oct. 15 runoff.
The final two candidates, Aretta Baldon and Davida Huntley, joined “Closer Look with Rose Scott” for a live, in-studio debate, one week ahead of Election Day. Early voting ends Friday.
Related: Closer Look: Atlanta Board of Education District 2 Candidates Debate
Candidates discussed the Board’s search for a new superintendent, the role of charter schools, and bridging the equity gap in education.
Both candidates agreed the Atlanta Board of Education should not begin the search for a new superintendent until the District 2 seat is filled.
“I think that our next superintendent should be committed to equity, and have urgency with ensuring that our schools that are under-performing are immediately and comprehensively supported,” Baldon said. “I also would be looking for a superintendent who has experience and a track record of success working with challenged school systems and empowering teachers and principals to do what they do best.”
Huntley also said the next superintendent should prioritize equity.
“This means that [the new superintendent] will be spending a lot of time in district two getting to know our residents,” Hutley said. “As a legacy resident of District 2, I will be able to walk the next superintendent personally around from the Bluff to the BeltLine of District 2, acclimating him or her with the schools that are in the district.”
The winner of the runoff election will serve a partial term on the board until Dec. 31, 2021.