D-1 Brenda Muhammad (I)

Contact Information 

Email – bjmuhammad@comcast.net

Phone – 404-226-5484

Brenda J. Muhammad Reelection Facebook Page

Brenda J. Muhammad Campaign Website

Background

Brenda Muhammad is the executive director of the Atlanta Victim Assistance, Inc. (AVA), an organization that advocates for the fundamental rights of victims and witnesses of crime with compassion, dignity and respect. For 12 years Brenda served as president of a public relations and communications firm, Unique Affairs/ Communications Inc. Her community Involvement includes past and present service on the following boards and organizations: the Board of Directors of Atlanta Educational Telecommunications Collaborative, Inc.; Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials Corporate Roundtable; NFL-YET Boys and Girls Club; National Kidney Foundation; National Coalition for Survivors of Homicide; Carrie Steel Pitts Home. She is also a member of NAACP; Southside PTA; Georgians United Against Violence; South Atlanta Neighborhood Development; Rollins School of Public Health Organ Donor Commission; National Black Women’s Political Caucus; National Coalition of 100 Black Women; Weed and Seed Advisory Board; American Red Cross Minority Recruitment Advisory Board; South Atlanta Neighborhood Development; Leadership Atlanta Class of 1996; Buckhead Leadership Academy Class of 1998; 2002 Coca-Cola Diversity Leadership Academy and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.

Education Priorities

Position on Revenues and Taxes

FY14 Property TaxesMillage rates will remain unchanged in the 2013-2014 school year, but property taxes are projected to increase by 1.2 percent. The Atlanta Board of Education voted June 17 for its property tax rate within the city to stay at 21.64 mills, with a 0.1 mill for bond payments.

AIS Property Sale Atlanta’s school system is reconsidering whether to sell Buckhead property to Atlanta International School that the private school currently leases. … Board of Education Chairman Reuben McDaniel said Tuesday that the sale is complicated by high property values in the area and potential future needs of the school system. [Note – Muhammad has not taken a public position on the sale at this time – RFS]

Position on Deficit Spending and General Fund Reserves

FY14 Budget The Atlanta Board of Education voted 6-3 to pass the $595 million spending plan for the 2013-2014 school year... The school board decided against making another $1.3 million in personnel cuts because tax collections have come in about $1.5 million higher than projections, McDaniel said. [Note – Muhammad voted with the majority – the FY14 budget includes $24.9 million of deficit spending – RFS]

FY13 Budget – The Atlanta Board of Education unanimously approved (9-0) the school system’s  fiscal 2013 budget of $574.70 million. [Note – the approved budget included deficit spending of $18.4 million – RFS]

Position on Allocation of Resources

Reduction in Central Administration CostFrustrated Atlanta school board members met Wednesday and called for a bloated central office to start shedding unproductive administrators so that more money can go toward reducing class sizes. In a school district with the highest administration costs in Georgia, parents and board members want to direct more money to students in the proposed budget for the next school year. Board Chairman Reuben McDaniel asked the administration to identify 18 non-teacher positions — worth about $1.5 million — that can be cut, especially if those workers are not doing their jobs. [Note – the BOE never further addressed the $1.5 million in cuts and they were not included in the final budget passed. Muhammad voted FOR passage of the budget. It should also be noted that when Muhammad made to motion to approve the budget, she was specifically asked if her motion included the additional central administration cuts – her answer was “No”. – RFS]

Position on Class Size Waivers and Average Class Size

Position on the Budget Process

Position on Overcapacity Issues and School Closings

Position on Board’s Oversight

Responsibilities Position on Charter Schools

Previously, APN reported that Muhammad said she voted for every charter school proposal that has come before her – that’s scary… When asked about her previous statement regarding support for charter schools, Muhammad clarified that there had, in fact, been instances in which she had voted not to support specific charter school proposals that came before APS.

Atlanta Classical Academy Charter Petition: AJCAtlanta’s school board unanimously approved a new charter school Monday, overriding the superintendent’s recommendation against starting new charters. Board of Education members gave the go-ahead for Atlanta Classical Academy, a K-8 charter school in Buckhead, to launch in the 2014-2015 school year.

Funds Withheld from Charter Schools LitigationAtlanta’s charter schools are increasing class sizes, reducing staff and trimming budgets because nearly $3 million is being withheld from them in a legal dispute with the city school district. One judge has ruled the charters should have the money. Because Atlanta Public Schools appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court, the money is tied up until the case, which involves APS’ pension cost, is decided. The state’s highest court may not rule until next spring, meaning the charters have to do without until then even if they ultimately prevail. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Wendy Shoob ruled in December in favor of the charter schools, whose lawyers argued that their employees don’t benefit from the pension system and their funding can’t be altered. [Note – BOE voted unanimously to appeal Judge Shoob’s decision – RFS]

Drew Carter High School ExpansionThe Atlanta school board approved a proposal to allow Drew Charter to build a $55 million high school and add about 400 students in kindergarten through the eighth grade.

Position on Other Issues that Have Financial Implications

Nearly $150 million Cost of new North Atlanta High SchoolBelcher tried to get an APS representative to defend the cost, but no administrators or board members agreed to speak with him.

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