MN chapter quits national school boards group that wanted FBI to investigate parents

It took a while, but the Minnesota chapter of the National School Boards Association has severed ties with the controversial advocacy group that called for the FBI and other federal agencies to investigate parents involved in their schools, comparing it to domestic terrorism. The Minnesota School Boards Association leadership voted to join 18 fellow state school boards chapters that have already dropped their affiliation following the NSBA’s letter calling on the Biden administration to work with local law enforcement to rein in activist parents.

The MSBA has previously criticized the NSBA action, but made only passing mention of the embarrassing incident in an update for Minnesota school boards and superintendents that was released to the media this week.

“Prior to the letter to the Biden administration, we had ongoing concerns regarding the value of membership with the NSBA,” MSBA Executive Director Kirk Schneidawind wrote. “With 18 other state school board associations already terminating their membership, we felt it was important to reevaluate the value and consider what will be in the best short-and long-term interests for MSBA and its members.”

The fierce backlash, nationally and locally, led to increasing pressure on the MSBA to take action to distance itself from the national group, particularly from Minnesota GOP legislators. Forum News reports legislative critics welcomed the news the MSBA has officially cut ties with the toxic national association.

Minnesota House Reps. Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls, and Sondra Erickson, R-Princeton, applauded the state association’s move.

“The MSBA has made the right decision in withdrawing from their national affiliate. This action sends the message that parents will not be treated as the enemy when their only goal was to advocate for the wellbeing of their students,” their statement said. “The NSBA’s treatment of concerned parents was appalling, and we applaud the MSBA for recognizing that and withdrawing their membership.”

In an effort to put the controversy behind them, the Minnesota School Boards Association plans to participate in establishing a new, decidedly nonpartisan, national association with the other states that have parted ways with the NSBA.

“We felt it was important to reevaluate and the value and consider what will be in the best short- and long-term interests for MSBA and its members,” Schneidawind said in the letter. “In a decision that was not taken lightly, we believe that investing in a new business opportunity which will allow us to design a multi-state association for today and the future was the best choice for (the Minnesota School Boards Association).”