D-5 Steven Lee

Steven Lee Cropped from website

Contact Information

Email – LEEFORAPS5@YAHOO.COM

Phone – 678-748-0316

Steven Lee Campaign Website

Compliance with Candidate Filing Requirements

All timely filed.

Background

Lee has an impressive record of working with youth as Executive Director of the Unity Network and Counseling Center (UNCC). .. Lee moved to Atlanta fifteen years ago from Chicago, Illinois, although he was born in Mississippi. Since then, he has served in numerous community leadership capacities, including as President of the Board of Directors of People TV, which for the last few years has been facing financial challenges and currently survives only by virtue of City funding. He currently still serves on the ZRB and on the Hollowell/MLK TADAC.  He says he does not believe serving on TADAC poses a conflict of interest with his running for APS BOE, but that he will step aside from TADAC if necessary. He is also President of the Martin Luther King Merchant’s Association.

[Not So Flattering Info] APN can reveal that Lee appears to have previously misrepresented his educational credentials in documents prepared for the City of Atlanta… When first asked about the references to him as Dr. Lee in the City legislation, Lee told APN that his PhD was from Belford University…. a diploma mill that–prior to its closure in 2012–offered online, nonaccredited college degrees, for a fee of several hundred dollars, to individuals for their previous life experiences.  While it maintained a post office box in Humble, Texas, the degrees were mailed from the United Arab Emirates.

Why Running for BOE?

 [Per email from Mr. Lee] I am running for Atlanta Board of Education in District 5 because APS is facing severe challenges and must provide a better education for our students.  I have dedicated my life to helping young people improve their lives.  I want to take the experiences I’ve had as a community leader to ensure our schools are providing our students with an excellent education, one that focuses on college and career readiness.  I will work through rocky waters, proactively governing, always with integrity and a sense of accountability.  Every child in Atlanta deserves to experience the power of a world class education.  I will work hard to increase our graduation rate by enhancing school, family and community partnerships.

Education Priorities

Lee said he is very concerned about the dropout rate, which he says hovers around a staggering fifty percent of APS students.  At some APS schools, the graduation rate is in the thirtieth and fortieth percentiles.  

He says APS needs to offer more options for students to stay in school; that APS needs to focus on making classwork more relevant to students’ lives, and less relevant to standardized testing; and that APS needs to offer more options to prepare students for entering the workforce, as not all students are likely to attend college.

He also is a proponent of expanding access to early childhood education within APS.

Position on Revenues and Taxes

Position on Deficit Spending and General Fund Reserves

Position on Allocation of Resources

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

As for charter schools, Lee says he supports them in certain cases but believes they should not replace traditional public schools. “I believe that charter schools are a tool in the toolbelt.  It is not the toolbelt, it is a tool in toolbelt,” he said. “I don’t believe they should replace public schools.  I’m a believer in the public school system.  I believe we should have a world class public schools system.  Charter schools should not take place of the public school system,” he said.

Position on Other Issues that Have Financial Implications

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