By Portia A. Scott (www.atlantadailyworld.com)
Angela Brown, a West End community leader and candidate for the Atlanta School Board will face Byron Amos, a PTA president and businessman in a run-off election Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Brown, who garnered over 1,200 votes to Amos’ 700, says she is in the race because “Our children deserve the best leadership.” As executive director of the First African Community Development Corporation, Brown had a strong and long record of mentoring youth leadership development in the community. She promises “quality, ethical and strong leadership.”
With both candidates concerned about the costly cheating scandal that still haunts the Atlanta School Board, Brown believes that the charter must be changed to reflect more responsibility on the part of both the superintendent and the school board members. She also believes in staying in compliance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and educating the community to understand the role of board members and keeping the community informed.
She agrees that the drop-out rate statistics are alarming and that some 75 percent of 9th graders will not graduate. “This is not just a crisis for our schools, but for the community,” Brown said, promising “to bring the community along to solve the crisis we face in education.”
Brown has been endorsed by several groups and individuals including: the Atlanta Federation of Teachers, Georgia Federation of Teachers, the AFL-CIO, Atlanta Labor Council, IBEW, CWA, the Teamsters, Sen. Vincent Fort, Reps. Nan Orrock, Rashad Taylor, City Councilwoman Cleta Winslow and Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner. Amos has support from City Councilman Ivory Young and the Board of Realtors. Amos also is vice president of Underground Kingz, a local record company.
Both candidates received a “suitable” endorsement by EduPac, a local group that focuses on improving the APS and the school board, and both participated in the Business Association on Bankhead forum recently.
Amos has accused Brown of not paying Atlanta school taxes and being pastor of a church in Alabama, but Brown has fired back promising strong, quality and ethical leadership in the West End area for over 20 years. She says she has been a longtime resident of the Historic West End area and co-founded and directed the Youth Task Force for more than 15 years, a nonprofit organization that built over 85 students and youth organizations. Brown is a graduate of University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and has a Master’s of Divinity degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center. She pastors Northern Heights Presbyterian Church.
Amos has been criticized for his business affiliation with a record company that caters to hip-hop artists that use questionable lyrics. Amos is a PTA president at Mary McCleod Bethune Elementary School where his youngest child attends. He is also a native of Atlanta, graduate of Booker T. Washington High School, and father of four, who all attend APS. As a community activist, Amos promises more parental involvement and holding the superintendent responsible.
Brown, who beat out five candidates who originally ran for the Atlanta School Board, will face a run-off Tuesday, Dec. 6, with Byron Amos. She said she is committed to “restoring integrity and trust in the school system, increase the graduation rate, greater community and parental involvement, and equal resources for District 2 schools.”
Polls for this important election will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. District 2 was vacated by former board member Khaatim S. El, and covers south-central Atlanta. The winner will serve the remaining two years on the school.