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Atlanta school board to meet Friday to discuss superintendent search

The Atlanta school board  vice chair Eshe' Collins (left) & chairman Jason Esteves speak before a special meeting on Sept. 9, 2019,  to discuss whether to extend superintendent Meria Carstarphen's contract. (Photo by Phil Skinner).
The Atlanta school board vice chair Eshe' Collins (left) & chairman Jason Esteves speak before a special meeting on Sept. 9, 2019, to discuss whether to extend superintendent Meria Carstarphen's contract. (Photo by Phil Skinner).

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner

The Atlanta school board will meet Friday to discuss its search for a new superintendent.

The school board announced Wednesday that it would meet from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday to discuss the upcoming search. The meeting will take place at the district’s downtown headquarters, 130 Trinity Ave.

On Sept. 9, the board announced that a majority of its members did not support extending Superintendent Meria Carstarphen's contract. The board said it would begin looking for a new superintendent to take over after Carstarphen's contract expires June 30.

Carstarphen?€™s contract expires June 30. She was hired in 2014, and has said she wants to remain on the job.??

The board has not cited one collective reason for the decision to find another leader. Individual board members have cited reasons ranging from financial concerns, academic performance in low-performing schools, and the need for a new superintendent to implement the district’s next strategic plan, which will provide guidance from 2020 to 2025.

The board did not vote on the contract decision, but in interviews later with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, five board members said they opposed extending the contract and three board members said they wished to retain Carstarphen.

The decision to find a new superintendent has been controversial among Carstarphen's supporters, who have praised her for the district's progress since she was hired in 2014.

Friday’s meeting will include a presentation from the district’s law firm, Nelson Mullins, about the search process.

Board Chairman Jason Esteves has said that the board expects to provide an update at its Oct. 7 meeting. He has said the board wants to hire a superintendent before the start of next school year.