Why is there a National School Board Association(NSBA)? When my brother and I were kids, our dad was a local school board member. I remember seeing signs with his name proudly displayed in people’s yards during election time. When he traveled with other board members to observe outdoor school one year, where students and staff had picked out special outdoor school names, he went as “Splinter”.
We personally knew others who ran for and sat on the local school board as well. They were our friends, neighbors and community members. It was these local folks who shook our hands and handed us our diplomas at graduation time. Locals could trust that those representing the district understood the unique needs of our community and its students.
Even then, however, local school board control was under attack. Under the direction of the NSBA, Oregon School Board Association (OSBA) “trainings” were more like brainwashing sessions where board members were subtly convinced to do things the OSBA way (this according to former board members). Coupled with that was the incessant drone of the teacher’s union. Through collective bargaining, unions insidiously chipped away at what the school board could and could not do.
Slowly, as the teacher’s union’ lobby and campaign money opened doors for them at the state legislature level, local school board control was further restricted. Most assuredly, they worked in partnership with the OSBA and National School Board Association (union websites and national school board websites are eerily similar in viewpoints**). Laws and regulations for school districts dreamed up in the state capitol, apart from parent and local school board input, were methodically foisted on school districts. Now, all too frequently, when local school boards attempt to make decisions and implement policies that would be good for their districts, a union-backed state law or regulation is there to block the way. Or worse, funnel districts down a predetermined road of policy – like a fly in a spider web. Local school board autonomy is all tied up. (And the state and national school boards are at the union after-party, swapping high fives.)
Knowing this to be the case, the recent trend toward calling school board members “directors” instead of “members”, is not surprising. Doesn’t “director” sound more empowered and authoritative than “member”? It’s merely a ruse.
Most recently, in a strange irony, the National School Board Association has accused parents of violence and disruption at school board meetings. Parents who simply wished to peacefully object to “local” school board policies, which is their right, are being painted as villains. The NSBA, in a letter to the Biden administration*, has requested federal assistance to quell supposed parental interference. It’s telling of how far-removed and agenda-driven the NSBA is. And how little they value parental rights and authority. School boards are supposed to be local, made up of parents with children in the district.
So, again I ask, why is there a National School Board Association? Or even State School Board Associations? They have infected our school system just like an unwanted virus has infected our country…
If I were a student in school, I’d want uninfluenced, true local control by dads and moms and neighbors I know have the local community’s interest at heart – and my best interest as a student at heart -.
Being dictated to by state and national school board associations is not healthy for school districts. Maybe there’s a vaccine against the National School Board “Virus”?
Purchase my book, Publicly Schooled, here: https://books2read.com/publiclyschooled