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Why I'm Running

I’m running for re-election to the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education because I know that our work to make APS the school system Atlanta’s families deserve is not done.

Since you elected me almost eight years ago, I have worked hard with my colleagues to stabilize a school system that had been rocked by scandal and dysfunction a little over a decade ago. We shored up APS’s finances and redirected more money than ever to school sites and classrooms. We reduced the size of the central office, and empowered school leaders and neighborhoods to drive the direction of their schools. And, most importantly, we prioritized equity in policy and through practice.

Because of these actions, we have seen positive movement. Graduation rates have gone from 51% to 80.3% in eight years. We have increased our partnerships with non-profits and business, which means more students have access to key wraparound services like mental health counselors, healthcare, and social workers. We have increased the number of students across the city are taking AP, IB, and college prep classes, and started the Atlanta College and Career Academy to help prepare students for college, career, and life. And due to investments in our teachers and staff, there is even more interest to join APS and stay here to help our students thrive.

I know this work is not done.

As an attorney and former public school teacher, I will continue to provide APS with the stable and honest leadership it needs to achieve its mission and vision.

 

I will continue to fight to ensure we have high-quality teachers and leaders in every class and school. I will ensure that we give more control to school communities to drive the direction of their school and cluster. I will also fight to improve our engagement efforts and ensure that parents and neighborhoods are fully engaged in their school and APS. I will continue to work within the community and help raise the voices of students, teachers, and parents to make sure they are heard. Working together, I know that we can give every child in Atlanta the opportunity to receive the education they deserve.

 

I look forward to earning your support and your vote in the weeks and months ahead.

 

Where we've been

• Increased graduation rate from 51% to 83.1%


• Invested more money in classrooms and teacher pay


• Launched turn around plan for lowest performing schools 

• Increased mental health and support services for students 

 

• Adopted an equity policy and anti-racism resolution


• Provided all students with laptops and internet access

Where we're going

• Providing a safer, more secure learning environment


• Transforming early learning for all children
 

• Putting talented teachers and leaders in every classroom
 

• Creating more community engagement opportunities


• Increasing transparency at multiple levels
 

• Guaranteeing safe facilities for students, teachers, and staff

 

Meet Jason

Jason Esteves currently serves as Board Chair and an at-large representative on the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education. He was elected on December 4, 2013 and has focused his efforts at promoting equity and improving the financial outlook of the school system. As an attorney and former educator, Jason is working to ensure every child in Atlanta Public Schools obtains an education that prepares them for college, career, and life.

After graduating from the University of Miami, Jason devoted himself to teaching at an underperforming school in a low-income neighborhood. He worked countless hours with students, teachers, and parents to ensure his kids had the resources they needed to succeed. This experience gave Jason insights into the challenges our children face and the importance of public schools that help children overcome those challenges.

Today, Jason serves as Vice President at Equifax Inc., where he leads the handling of regulatory matters, risk mitigation, and sensitive disputes and investigations for the company. He was a litigation associate at the law firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP (now Dentons US LLP) after graduating from Emory University School of Law. Jason also serves on various boards of local non-profits, and believes that partnerships with non-profits are vital to ensuring our children have the wraparound services they need to be able to focus on their education and development.

A native Georgian, Jason was raised in Columbus, Georgia by his parents, Linda and Fernando, a retired Army veteran. At an early age, his parents instilled in him the importance of public service and a good education. Those values are the foundation upon which Jason serves today.

Jason is married to Ariel, a graduate of Kennesaw State University and Emory University’s School of Nursing graduate program. Jason met Ariel while he attended Emory Law School. Ariel is the founder of WestsideMed, an urgent and primary care clinic in their neighborhood. Jason and Ariel are proud parents of Jaeden and Zoe, and reside in northwest Atlanta.

Educational Equity

Last year, Atlanta Public Schools faced our greatest challenge ever: the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The school board took immediate steps to ensure the health and safety of our students, teachers, and families across the City. Educating our children in the era of COVID is no easy task, but our Atlanta Public Schools community came together to provide the best learning environment possible.

As Chair, I’m proud that our school board stepped up to address unprecedented challenges.

 

In response to the pandemic, we distributed hundreds of thousands of meals to families, and provided every student with a laptop and, if needed, an internet hotspot. We also authorized increased spending on mental health and support services for students and staff. We’ve invested in our teachers and staff by providing them raises and stipends.

I’m even prouder that despite new challenges, our district continues to excel.

 

In the years since I took office, graduation rates have increased from 51% to 80.3%. Test scores are improving and we have increased access to wraparound services.

Under my leadership, our schools are becoming more open and welcoming to all.

 

We adopted an Equity Policy and Anti-Racism Resolution, and created the Center for Equity and Social Justice. I also oversaw the process of renaming buildings with hurtful legacies.

I’m running for re-election because our work to provide the school system Atlanta’s families deserve is not done. I hope to continue our work and earn your support again on November 2.

 

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