Equity in Education

While our city moves toward greatness, all of our children are not being prepared to take part in Atlanta’s bright future.

Atlanta youth from every corner of the city are endowed with great talents, but not every school in Atlanta is equally well-prepared to nurture those talents. These inequities stifle the potential and future life outcomes for young people.

Atlanta School

Students Suspended

Atlanta Public
Schools Budget

Two Atlantas


Are our schools keeping pace with our city’s acceleration and growth? Can every child access the opportunity to experience all that Atlanta has to offer?


Equity in Education (EiE) was founded to answer these very questions. Finding those answers starts with a hard look at the unequal outcomes for our students by race and economic status. As matters stand now, Atlanta has not escaped the educational inequities holding our entire nation back. For example, as of 2022, just 37% of district students tested proficient in reading.


It does not have to be this way. This report points out opportunities for new collaborations among city government, schools, families and communities.

Key Takeaways

While Atlanta’s high school graduation rate–84%– is approaching parity with state and national rates, test scores show serious concerns remain about whether students are building the academic skills they need for success beyond high school.1,2

  • Although the District has an 84% graduation rate, only 37% of the District’s students have tested proficient in reading.3
  • 89% of white high school students read at or above grade level, while only 22% of Black high school students read at or above grade level.
  • As of 2022, only 18% of economically disadvantaged district students in grades 3 through 8 tested proficient in reading.

The Atlanta Board of Education manages a $1.66 billion dollar budget, but only $1.2 million is dedicated to reading and English language arts.4

Data shows that Black students are more likely to be suspended than any other student. In 2022, 89% of students suspended were Black, while 4.8% were white.5

  1. Atlanta Public Schools, “APS Reaches All-Time Graduation Rate High of 84.0 Percent,” October 6, 2022, https://www.atlantapublicschools.us/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&ModuleInstanceID=109357&ViewID=7b97f7ed-8e5e-4120-848f-a8b4987d588f&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=110365&PageID=69073 (accessed October 2, 2023).
  2. “Fast Facts,” National Center for Education Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=805 (accessed October 2, 2023).
  3. Georgia Milestones, 2022
  4. Atlanta Civic Circle, 2023 (https://atlantaciviccircle.org/2023/05/11/whats-in-atlanta-public-schools-1-66-billion-budget/)
  5. Governors Office of Student Achievement, 2022


Ban Out-Of-School Suspensions for K-5

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