Runoff elections for Atlanta Public Schools districts to be held Nov. 30

Runoff elections for District 2 and At-Large District 7 of the Atlanta Public Schools school board will be held on Nov. 30, 2021. Aretta Baldon and Keisha Carey advanced to a runoff election for the District 2 seat, while Tamara Jones and KaCey Venning advanced to a runoff for the At-Large District 7 seat.

Nine seats on the Atlanta Public Schools school board in Georgia—three at-large and six district seats—were up for general election on Nov. 2. Districts 1, 4, 5, and 6 and At-Large Districts 8 and 9 were decided in the general election.

Baldon is the District 2 incumbent and ran against challengers Carey and Bethsheba Rem in the general election. Baldon received 48.5% of the vote and Carey received 29.5%, followed by Rem with 22%. At-Large District 7 is an open seat, as incumbent Kandis Wood Jackson did not seek reelection. Five candidates ran for the seat, with Jones receiving 39.5% of the vote, Venning receiving 20%, and candidates Patricia Crayton, Royce Carter Mann, and Stephen Spring receiving 15% or less.

With one-quarter of APS students enrolled in charter and partner schools, standards for renewing and expanding charter schools have been a major issue in this race. COVID-19 response policies, including mask and vaccine mandates, are also an issue.

The 2021 election was the last election during which every board seat is up for election simultaneously, as Georgia’s HB 1075 changed the state’s school board election process so that members’ terms are staggered. The winner in At-Large District 7, an odd number district, will serve a two-year term that will expire on December 31, 2023. The winner in District 2, an even number district, will serve a four-year term that will expire on Dec. 31, 2025.