Cobb school board member Dr. Jaha Howard, a Democrat, has registered to run for state school superintendent, a position currently held by Republican Richard Woods.

Jaha Howard MUG.jpg

Jaha Howard

The superintendent is the chief executive officer of the Georgia Department of Education and oversees a multi-billion dollar budget, one of the state’s largest.

Howard, who owns a pediatric dental practice in Smyrna, sent the Journal a brief statement Tuesday evening when asked about his registration.

“Georgia families have seen enough in public education,” he wrote. “I believe that, by embracing hard truths and hard work, we can build stronger school communities that truly reflect excellence. Look out for more exciting information in the months ahead.”

First elected to the school board in 2018, Howard has repeatedly clashed with the board’s Republican majority over such issues as racial disparities in Cobb schools and the district’s handling of the coronavirus.

According to the Georgia Campaign Finance Commission, Howard registered on Sunday. The commission lists Howard’s campaign chairperson and treasurer as Katie Killeen, who previously served as a media contact for then-county commission candidate Jerica Richardson.

The only other person to have registered to run in next year’s election as of Tuesday evening, according to the commission’s website, was former Republican Georgia Schools Superintendent John Barge.

Georgia State Superintendent of Schools Richard Woods

Richard Woods

A longtime educator and school administrator, Woods was first elected to the superintendent position in 2014. In 2018, he won reelection.


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(7) comments

Mike Nelson

This is the man who caused all the conflict and audit of Cobb school system. Oh yes put him in so he can really ruin the system.


Exactly. He is a shamless progressive who would decimate the curriculum to implement his nefarious social constructs including critical race theory. He and his ilk are the LAST thing the state needs.

Dazzle Faddy

Haha will get laughed out of there too! Too bad he doesn't have to resign his current post to run. He'd save Cobb a whole lot of money and heartache!

Rick Kuhns

I agree with Mike & Craig. I’m still trying to make sense of Dr. Howard’s statement starting with “Georgia families have seen enough in public education…ending with Look out for more exciting information in the months ahead”. What does that mean? Education issues aside, What’s his resume? He was on the Board for 3 years & now wants the “Top job”! Has he ever managed a multi-billion $$ Statewide budget? That’s a lot of money. If you’re looking for a CEO to head up a big job like this one, It would be good to have Dr Howard &, frankly, ALL candidates make their financials available for review AND any affiliations to lobbyists, unions, etc. We vote these people in, but don’t really know much about them. We should! And, we need to hear their agendas…what are they planning on doing to our school curriculums. Let’s give it a lot of thought & attention. ALL children’s futures depend on having the “right” people in the job!

Ann DG

Richard Woods has done an exception job for the Ga State DOE. He has tried to keep politics out and focuses on the students and their best interest. Dr. Howard is way too political. Everyone is afforded an education which begins in the home. Our education system has changed due to all of the politics. Teachers need to have full control over what they teach and need to stick to math, reading, science and social studies. I am afraid he would really cause issues with al; of hos rhetotric.

Tina Kroske

Get out JAHA!! He’s self-serving and all about self promotion.

He doesn’t deserve to be on school board as he only represents himself! Don’t support this man.

Laura Armstrong

First he ran unsuccessfully for Congress, which most people have forgotten. His dental practice must really bore him, because he couldn't stay away from politics, visions of grandeur as a school board member. But he has done NOTHING for three years but sow discord and lies among parents. He barely shows up to meetings and when he does he wants to opine on national issues. The last thing the state of Georgia needs is this egotistical tooth doctor. Hey Jaha, people usually run for higher office when they've actually accomplished something. Your specialty is tearing things down.

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