Cobb school board member Dr. Jaha Howard enters race for Georgia schools superintendent
Dr. Jaha Howard, a Democratic member of the Cobb school Board, announced he is running for Georgia School Superintendent. Howard, who owns a pediatric dental practice in Smyrna, has served on Cobb’s board since 2018. He has championed numerous issues and has been outspoken on racial disparities in Cobb schools and the district’s handling of the coronavirus.
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.
Republican Richard Woods is currently in the role and plans to seek re-election in 2022. Former Georgia Schools Superintendent John Barge, a Republican who won the office in 2014 and reelection in 2018, has registered and plans to run against Woods in next year’s election for the Republican nomination.
As Howard seeks higher office, he will depart a school board which has had a controversial year, along with numerous steps and missteps that have left many parents upset with the current leadership.
Their headlines have included Cognia’s special review; the board voting against the teaching of Critical Race Theory in schools; the board failing to support a mask mandate to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the schools; parents suing Cobb schools because no mask mandate exists; and threats being investigated by the FBI. The most recent and troubling episode occurred last week when the vice chair of the board sent out a misinformation-filled email advising against vaccinations.
Many feel that this list of issues and parents’ worries will continue to grow unless something is done about it. Some say the Governor should step in to stop the dysfunction or voters should vote those currently on the board out of office.