The Atlanta school board has decided not to offer Superintendent Lisa Herring a contract extension.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Herring, who has led the district for less than three years, will continue working as superintendent while the school board begins a search for a new leader. Herring’s contract with Atlanta Public Schools runs through June 2024.
“So long as she is the Superintendent, Dr. Herring and the board will continue the critical work that has begun, particularly the laser focus on student achievement,” school board chairwoman Eshé Collins said.
Herring expressed disappointment over the board’s decision in a written statement. She listed accomplishments achieved during her tenure with the Atlanta district, including an improving graduation rate and corporate partnerships that she said have resulted in donated technology and student internships.
Herring was hired by the board in 2020 after it decided not to extend Meria Carstarphen’s contract as superintendent.
A group that calls itself “Transparency Now” launched an online petition in February urging the school board not to renew Herring’s contract. The document, which has more than 1,300 signatures, cites low test scores, high chronic absenteeism and a spike in disciplinary incidents.
The district has said the Covid-19 pandemic has affected students’ learning and social-emotional growth and compounded existing problems.
Herring came to Atlanta from the Birmingham (Ala.) district, where she served as superintendent for three years.