The Nebraska Association of School Boards has quit the National School Boards Association, making it the 25th state that has done so. Last year, the exodus of state boards began when NSBA leaders wrote a letter asking Joe Biden and Justice Department officials (including Attorney General Merrick Garland) to ask the federal government to investigate threats to school officials as domestic terrorism.
“As these acts have escalated in violence and malice against public school officials, the classification could be the equivalent of a form of domestic terrorism or hate crimes,” read the letter.
The letter was sent by Chip Slaven, CEO of NASB and executive director of NASB, who coordinated with the Biden White House to send it.
According to Omaha World-Herald, top Nebraska politicians encouraged the action taken by the state school board association.
The letter was also rejected by Nebraska politicians. In a statement, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse called Garland’s memo “political hack work” and Gov. Pete Ricketts stated that federal intervention would constitute an “absolute outrageous misuse of federal power” and was intended to “browbeat parents into attending school board meetings.”
Shortly after the letter was shared, the NSBA publicly apologized for it. Slaven is no longer the interim executive. An independent investigation by the NSBA revealed that he was the principal author. He did not seek out comments from the national board of directors or members prior to sending the letter.
Everyone acknowledges that the rhetoric was heated during last fall’s debates on critical race theory and masks. There were no plots to execute violent acts against school board members.
After their cardboard cutout, Slaven coordinated her efforts with the White House, and the Biden administration demanded federal involvement in fighting domestic terrorism threats by parents. This was nothing more than a political theater act.
Local or state law enforcement could have easily dealt with any threats to board members. Biden, however, wanted to be the bully in the sandbox. The National School Board Association received exactly what it deserved.
The NSBA’s revenue from dues has been cut in half and it is now uncertain if it will survive. Several other state school boards are considering creating a national school board organization.
Despite this, some state associations are still in discussions about the creation of a national advocacy group to compete with NSBA and possibly poach other members.
Florida School Boards Association has recently changed its bylaws to remove the requirement that it keep NSBA membership and allow for membership in another national or regional organization.
In an internal memo, the Montana association stated that they could create these services with an investment on par with the amount we currently spend on engagement in NSBA.
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association is currently gauging interest from other states to create a new umbrella group.
The competition will at the very minimum force the NSBA into reforming its practices. This can only be good news for schools moving forward.