Atlanta mayoral candidates Keisha Lance Bottoms, left, and Mary Norwood at Friday's education conversation.

Atlanta mayoral candidates promise to back early childhood programs

Educational issues took center stage Friday in the Atlanta mayoral campaign, when both candidates met to tout their plans to support student success. 

Mayoral candidates Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood are participating in a conversation that features a panel of educational leaders including Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Meria Carstarphen and Morehouse College interim president Harold Martin, Jr. 

Norwood and Bottoms, who were asked the same questions but were not in the room while the other answered the questions, both said they would champion a sales tax or other funding measure to support early childhood education programs in the city.

Both mayoral candidates recently pledged that they would turn over school property deeds to APS -- deeds the city has long held and which prompted the school district to file a lawsuit. That’s one of 15 priorities the school district laid out in a public policy agenda that includes funding an initiative to guarantee early education for all Atlanta children, tearing down or repurposing blighted buildings near schools, and building sidewalks in school zones.

For more about the mayoral conversation about education, visit