Three APS Board Members Not Planning to Run Again (UPDATE 1)


UPDATE: A previous version of this article stated that two sources had said that a fourth member of the APS BOE, LaChandra Butler Burks, was not planning to run again as well.  Burks, who had not returned a voicemail left by APN in time for publication, phoned APN today, May 22, 2012, to say that she has not in fact made up her mind.

(APN) ATLANTA — At least three members of the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education are not planning to run again in 2013 when their terms expire, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.

Cecily Harsch-Kinnane (District 3) told APN she is not planning to run for reelection in 2013.

Yolanda Johnson (District 6) told APN the same.  “It’ll be two full terms of four years.  I think it’s a good idea to allow other people with new approaches and fresh perspectives.  These seats shouldn’t be attached to any one person.”

Emmett Johnson (District 9) told APN, “it’s a good possibility I won’t be running,” adding he did not want to discuss the issue at the moment.  One source, however, told APN that Mr. Johnson told them that he had already made up his mind.

LaChandra Butler Burks (District 5) told APN that she has not yet decided whether she will run again in 2013.  She said that she has heard that other people have said that she will not be running, but that she in fact had not made a decision yet.

It would be the decimation of the Gang of Five and the Gang of Four, although more of the five (Courtney English, Nancy Meister, Brenda Muhammad) than the four (Reuben McDaniel) would remain if all four do not run again.

It would also be the continuation of a process of turning over the Board from the days of the two factions that led to an APS accreditation crisis.  This process began with the resignation of Khaatim El (District 2) and the election of Byron Amos to replace him.

“I love being on the Board, even with all that.  This is not a reaction to anything.  I feel good about my time served,” Harsch-Kinnane said.

“People serve different roles on the Board,” she said, saying her role was as a parent.  “My youngest daughter is graduating from Grady [High School] right now and I have a sophomore at Grady who by then will be a senior.”

“I do worry,” about APS and the Board, she said.  “I have worries.  There are a lot of unknowns.  There are a lot of things I would want to make sure are in place.”

Meanwhile, Johnson said, “I think two terms is a respectable commitment, it’s eight years.”

Johnson said she was being forthcoming now about her decision, in order to give anyone else who wants to run for the seat enough time to do research.

“It’s been an interesting experience,” Johnson said.  “I hope I’ve done the best I could to make decisions in the best interests of the children.”

Meanwhile, candidates are already preparing to run for the seats.

Nicole Foerschler Horn, a member of Step Up For Public Schools [formerly known as Step Up or Step Down], is planning to run for the District 3 seat currently held by Harsch-Kinnane, according to parent-activist Lisa Weldon.

And Anne McKenzie, who ran against Yolanda Johnson for the District 6 seat in 2009, is planning to run for the District 6 seat again in 2013, McKenzie told APN.


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