The Atlanta Board of Education extended the contract of Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring for one year, through the 2023-2024 school year, at its Dec. 6 meeting.

Herring led Birmingham City Schools prior to becoming superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools July 1, 2020.

Under Herring’s leadership, APS achieved an 83.1% graduation rate for cohort 2021, an all-time high graduation rate for the district. The graduation rate narrowed the gap with the state rate of (83.7%) by 2.9 percentage points to a difference of just 0.6 percentage points. This is the first time that APS has been this close to the state graduation rate.

“I am thrilled by this vote of confidence in this team from our Board,” Herring said. “We know that we have a lot of hard work ahead of us, but I look forward to continuing our efforts to meet those challenges by fostering academic excellence for all of our students, building a culture of student support, equipping and empowering leaders and staff, and creating a system of support for schools.”

Minimum wage for all full-time employees has been increased to at least $15 per hour, along with other financial commitments to the district’s workforce, such as 2 percent salary increases and retention bonuses.

Herring also created the department of Innovation, Improvement and Redesign to identify and scale best-practice initiatives across clusters and schools and founded the Center for Equity and Social Justice, taking courageous steps to put policy into action and reimagine public education through the lens of equity.

“We greatly appreciate the work that she and her team are doing and have done for our students and families in Atlanta Public Schools,” Board Chair Jason Esteves said. “Dr. Herring is someone who is genuine, honest and holds herself accountable. She has done and continues to do great work that will improve student achievement both academically and in terms of whole child development, despite the significant challenges of the pandemic. We look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Herring and continuing the progress we have made.”

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