Courtney English believes in leaving things better than he found them. An Atlanta native who was first elected to the Board of Education at 24, he’s been making a difference in the lives of citizens since an early age. Ten years ago Atlanta was caught in the largest school cheating scandal in American history and Courtney decided he wanted to help. Already on the frontlines as a middle school teacher, Courtney decided to run for Atlanta School Board and was first elected to the Board of Education at 24 years old.
When he started, the district’s graduation rate hovered at 50%. He rolled up his sleeves and went to work, championing policies to shrink the size of the central office and increase classroom spending. After years of partnership and perseverance, both in the classroom and in the boardroom, the graduation rate to 71%, the highest in decades.
Chosen unanimously by his fellow board members as the youngest chairman in the history of the school system, English led the negotiations to resolve a dispute between APS and the City of Atlanta over the Beltline. The deal he brokered ensures $100 million in new revenue for Atlanta’s students while keeping the Beltline financially on track.
English will bring his results-driven, innovative brand of leadership to tackle issues of affordable housing, transportation, and jobs to the Office of City Council President. English earned his Master’s Degree from Columbia University after serving as a founding teacher at BEST Academy, the first all-male school in the city of Atlanta in 60 years.
Courtney English is a proud graduate of Frederick Douglass High School, Morehouse College, and serves as a member of the LEAD Atlanta class of 2011 and on the boards of nonprofits like the National Center for Global Engagement, Child First USA, and the Morehouse College Center for Teacher Preparation Advisory board. Courtney has guest lectured at Emory University, Spelman College, Morehouse College and Harvard University.