ATLANTA — The Atlanta Board of Education announced Monday they will not renew the contract of Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen when it expires next year.

The board released a letter saying:

After much consideration, the Atlanta Board of Education will not extend the contract of Dr. Meria Carstarphen beyond the conclusion of her sixth year, which ends on June 30, 2020. Because a majority of the Board does not support an extension, and no new contract is being offered, there is no action for the Board to take. We thank Dr. Carstarphen for leading the Atlanta Public School system and we look forward to her continued partnership through next June, as we transition to our next Superintendent.

Her efforts, along with the hard work of our students, families, teachers, administrators, partners, and the Board, have helped repair many of the issues that plagued our school system a decade ago. Dr. Carstarphen inherited a system in crisis and we appreciate her leadership during that difficult time. While progress has been made, there are still many challenges ahead. It's critical the APS Superintendent work in a spirit of continuous collaboration with the Board and our community to address obstacles that keep students from reaching their full potential.

The decision not to offer her a fourth contract extension was difficult. Since we extended her contract last year, the Board has received input from many in the community related to the future of our system. Board leadership notified Dr. Carstarphen in July there was not majority support on teh Board for another extension and this was reiterated to her several times over the past few weeks. We asked her to work with the Board on a transition plan for June 2020, as is customary in these situations. We waited until now to address this publicly because we did not want to disrupt or overshadow the start of the new academic year. The Board acknowledges there will be some disagreement related to this decision, but we believe it is important for the good of the entire system to move forward now. 

We are at an inflection point where we must ensure long-term stability for the school system. Our current five-year strategic plan ends in June 2020. We need to begin our search process now to ensure the next Superintendent is hired in time to drive the implementation of our next strategic plan and see it through to completion. 

We look forward to sharing more details on the search and transition process at our next Board meeting in October. As we search for the next Superintendent, the Board will continue to focus on what's important -- the 52,000 students who walk through the doors of an Atlanta Public School every day and the more than 6,000 team members who support them. A lot of hard work has been done, but there is more to do, and bright days are ahead. With the support of our community, we are dedicated to ensuring our students have all the resources they need to achieve their goals.

Carstarphen was hired to the position in 2014. Last year, she was named Georgia Superintendent of the Year by the American Federation of State and County Municipal Employees and the Georgia Federation of Public Service Employees. She was also a 2018 National Public Relations Association Communication Technology Award for Superintendents Award recipient.

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