EduPAC endorses candidates for Atlanta school board

By Maria Saporta

EduPAC, an independent, non-partisan coalition of more than 30 Atlanta organizations, has endorsed its slate of nine candidates for the Atlanta Board of Education.

The slate continues a tradition that EduPAC started in 1993 to elect qualified representatives to Atlanta’s school board in an attempt to improve public education within the city limits.

The slate is as follows::

• District 1 Brenda J. Muhammad
• District 2 Khaatim S. El
• District 3 Cecily Harsch-Kinnane
• District 4 Mark B. Riley
• District 5 LaChandra Butler Burks
• District 6 Yolanda K. Johnson
• District 7 Courtney Dean English
• District 8 Reuben R. McDaniel
• District 9 Emmett D. Johnson

“The EduPAC-endorsed candidates for Atlanta School Board are the most qualified to lead,” said William “Sonny” Walker, founder and principal of Sonny Walker Group and co-chairman of EduPAC, in a statement. “After exhaustive interviews with all candidates, we believe the endorsed candidates possess the intellect, capability and passion to support Atlanta Public Schools’ ambitious school reform agenda focusing on student achievement.”

The theme of this year’s campaign was “Keep Reform Alive.”

Paula Lawton Bevington, a principal in Bevington Advisors and vice chairman of EduPAC, said that Atlanta’s public school system is one of the top-performing urban systems in the country. “Our students, parents, teachers, all in our community, deserve the most capable and the most committed school board members to keep the progress moving,” she said in the release.

The EduPAC organization includes volunteers from the business, civic and faith-based community, such as the Metro Atlanta Chamber, 100 Black Men of Atlanta, the Atlanta Business League, YMCA, Atlanta Education Fund, Atlanta Urban League, Georgia Aquarium, Leadership Atlanta, Georgia-Pacific, H.J. Russell & Company, Bank of America and others

In its 15-year history, more than 80 percent of EduPAC-endorsed candidates have been elected or re-elected to the school board. For more information about EduPAC, visit

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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