The Atlanta Board of Education will not renew Superintendent Meria Carstarphen’s contract.
The board held a special called meeting on Sept. 9 with an executive session to “discuss a personnel matter” being the only agenda item.
After a three-and-a-half-hour closed session, the board returned with the news that it was not renewing the contract with Carstarphen, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported.
Someone at the office for the board confirmed the news via phone call but chose not to reveal their name or role with the board.
Carstarphen was hired in 2014 and awarded Georgia Superintendent of the Year in Sept. 2018. Her contract expires June 30, 2020.
Buckhead Coalition President and former Atlanta mayor Sam Massell sent a letter to school board Chairman Jason Esteves over the weekend asking the board to renew Carstarphen’s contract on behalf of the coalition. Massell also said the support aligned with the view of other prominent Atlanta figures.
“I…want it publicly known our conclusion is to strongly support Congressman Lewis, Governor Barnes, Ambassador Young, Mayor Franklin and other public leaders,” Massell said in the letter. “We also want recognition given the parents of present students who appreciate the responsible progress they see in the classrooms, for which much credit is due the Superintendent.”
On Sept. 9 before the Atlanta Public Schools board meeting, the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods sent out a revised agenda of a Sept. 12 meeting, removing Castarphen’s previously-scheduled Q&A session due to “scheduling conflicts.”
Carstarphen wrote a post on her blog Monday after the meeting confirming the news and expressing her want for another term.
“I had a sincere desire for a contract extension so that…I could complete the vision and charge I was hired to achieve for the benefit of Atlanta’s children: Rebuild trust and restore pride in Atlanta Public Schools and position it for the future,” she said.
Carstarphen also says she hopes to see more progress after her term expires and that there is a lot more work to be done.
“Our children need all of us…to fight for them and to be their voice to have the best chance at choice-filled lives,” she said.
According to AJC reports, APS school board member Nancy Meister in an email to board chairman Jason Esteves expressed her support of Carstarphen and her concern with the lack of transparency in the board’s decision-making process.
Meister did not reply to the Reporter for immediate comment.
This article has been updated with additional information.