APS’s Secretive Board Appointment as Esteves Elected to State Senate

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Headshot_Jason+Esteves(APN) ATLANTA – The nine-member Board of Education of the Atlanta Independent School System will appoint an individual to serve the remainder of the unexpired term for At-Large Seat 9, to be vacated by Jason Esteves on December 31, 2022.

 

Interested candidates must register by tomorrow, Tuesday, November 22, 2022 to secure admittance to the last mandatory orientation session to be held on Monday, November 28. 

 

Esteves ran for State Senate District 6 and was elected in the November 2022 General Election.

 

Atlanta Progressive News asked Pierre Gaither of APS for the names of any individuals who have applied for the seat; and he, in consultation with the APS Law Department, refused to provide the information except through an open records request.

 

It is not clear why, if the information is public and subject to a records request, APS is choosing to be non-transparent with the public.

 

Pierre refused to provide a time-frame for responding to the records request. By law, it is a “reasonable amount of time not to exceed three business days”. If APN waited that long to publish this article, then the deadline to apply for the seat would have passed.

 

If it were an election, the list of qualifying candidates would be public, but because it is an appointment, APS wants to keep parents and taxpayers in the dark.

 

AT-LARGE SEAT NINE VACANCY

 

On Nov. 02, 2021 Esteves was reelected to the Atlanta Board of Education  At-Large Seat 9 for a two-year term, January 2022 – December 2023.  

 

School board terms are usually four years, but with the passage of HB 1075 in June 2020, ABOE recently moved to staggered elections.

 

This means that every two years some of the seats will come up for election, rather than all seats at the same time.  In order to create this staggering, some seats had have a one-time, two-year term; and At-Large 9 is one of those seats.

 

Esteves got 61 percent of the vote, with the remaining votes split by challengers Jason B. Allen and D’Jaris James. 

 

IMG02-EstevezCampaignRegistrationOn December 09, 2021, only one month later, Esteves registered with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission as a candidate for State Senator District 6.

 

On November 08, 2022, Esteves the Democratic nominee, won the Georgia Senate District 6 seat, defeating Republican candidate, Fred Glass, with 58 percent of the votes. 

 

IMG03-ESTEVESREGISNATIONOn November 10, 2022, Esteves posted on Twitter a copy of a letter of resignation submitted to Atlanta Board of Education effective Dec. 31, 2022. 

 

On November 16, 2022, the Board held the first of two mandatory orientation sessions for applicants interested in serving the expired term of At-Large Seat 9. 

 

November 30, 2022 is the deadline to submit a completed application to the ABOE. 

 

HOW TO APPLY

 

The following guidelines are posted on Atlanta Board of Education’s website for  individuals interested in applying for Atlanta Board of Education At-Large Seat 9.

 

https://www.atlantapublicschools.us/domain/17578

 

Applicants must meet be at least eighteen years of a age; must be a resident of APS Education District 5 or 6; must be a qualified elector of the City of Atlanta; and may not be an employee of the State Department of Education or a member of the State Board of Education.

 

Candidates may not hold any other elective public office, nor be an employee of the Atlanta Board of Education nor any other local board of education, nor serve on the governing body of any private K-12 educational institution.

 

All interested candidates must attend one of two mandatory in-person orientation sessions.  The first session was held on Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at 5:00 p.m., and the second will be held on Monday November 28, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.  

 

They will be held at the Alonzo A. Crim Center for Leadership and Learning.

 

One must contact Pierre Gaither, Executive Director to the Board via email at pierre.gaither@atlanta.k12.ga.us to register and secure admittance to one of these orientation sessions. 

 

The deadline to register in order to attend the November 28, 2022 session is 5:00 p.m. on November 22, 2022. 

 

Applicants should submit their application, consisting of (1) a resume; (2) a statement of interest; and (3) a completed Commitment Checklist and Questionnaire (distributed to attendees at the mandatory in-person orientation session) to Pierre Gaither, Executive Director to the Board.  

 

Applications may be submitted via email to Pierre.Gaither@Atlanta.k12.ga.us or via mail or hand delivery addressed to Atlanta Public Schools, Attention Pierre Gaither, 130 Trinity Avenue, S.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30303.

 

All completed applications must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30, 2022.  

 

Georgia provides the procedures for filling local Board of Education vacancies, per O.C.G.A. 20-1-54.1.

 

https://codes.findlaw.com/ga/title-20-education/ga-code-sect-20-2-54-1.html

 

The statute provides that, unless local law provides otherwise, when a vacancy occurs “for any reason on a local board of education” …  “[i]f the vacancy occurs more than 90 days prior to the date of a general election”… then the remaining board members will select a replacement until the special election occurs.

 

Specifically, it states: “such vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term of office at a special election to be held on the same date as said general election preceding the general election at which a successor will be elected to a new full term of office; and in this case the remaining members of the board of education shall, by majority vote, select a qualified person to fill the vacancy until the person elected at such special election takes office.”

 

IMG01-ABOE-2022-Hi-resImage-FINALThe current leadership of the Atlanta BOE is Kate Howard (District 1); Aretta Baldon (District 2); Michelle Olympiadis (District 3); Jennifer McDonald (District 4); Erika Mitchell (District 5); Eshe’ Collins (District 6, Chair); Tamara Jones (At-Large Seat 7); Cynthia Briscoe Brown (At-Large Seat 8); and Jason Esteves (resignation effective December 31, 2022, At-Large Seat 9).

 

(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2022)

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