ND school boards latest to quit toxic national group over targeting parents at meetings

More than half of state members have now officially cut ties with the National School Boards Association over its notorious letter equating parents involved in their children’s schools with domestic terrorists and calling on the Biden administration to investigate with federal law enforcement. The North Dakota School Boards Association formally withdrew from the toxic national association at a mid-June meeting, becoming the 26th state organization to stop paying annual dues. Forum News says the decision came nearly nine months after the NSBA’s controversial letter requesting the U.S. Department of Justice intervene in local school districts.

The North Dakota School Board Association alerted its membership to the change in a letter of its own that was recently sent to school board members, superintendents and school business managers.

The move was taken, according to the North Dakota association, after the national association sent a letter in September to President Joe Biden advocating for federal intervention in confrontations that were occurring at school board meetings around the country.

In the letter, the national organization said the confrontations “could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

The NSBA apologized for the letter months ago under pressure. But the gesture doesn’t appear to have stemmed the exodus of state chapters, which were put in the awkward position of explaining to school districts that they did not participate in or condone the national organization’s request for federal intervention.

The letter the North Dakota organization sent to its members states that while it commends the national association for steps it took to clarify how the letter to Biden came about, “it has become clear to us the long-term viability of the NSBA is in question.”

The North Dakota association’s letter to its members contains a link to information regarding the outcome of an internal investigation the national association commissioned in January to determine the origins of what the state association describes as the “ill-advised” letter that was sent to Biden.

Just a few days earlier, the Wisconsin and Nebraska associations also voted to sever ties with NSBA. Yet dissatisfaction with the national school boards group goes back much further than the outrage over the letter, according to the Wisconsin Examiner.

The dispute with NSBA runs deeper than a single letter on domestic terrorism. Conservative state school board associations see a liberal NSBA supporting involvement by the federal government. They believe that money appropriations come with too many liberal strings attached.

The Nebraska school board association cut ties this past weekend along with Wisconsin. Nebraska specifically raised issues “on masking, sex education and critical race theory.”

Wisconsin points to financial mismanagement by NSBA leadership. “The NSBA’s burdensome post-employment liabilities serve as one example of this concern and evidence of systemic issues over which the WASB has had concerns for several years,” wrote WASB in its press release. NSBA was forced to sell the organization headquarters and rent back space due to cash flow problems.

NSBA claims to have learned its lesson after the group got caught red-handed undermining parents and school districts last fall. But 22 state associations have taken their dissatisfaction to the next level, forming a new national group with an emphasis on nonpartisanship and transparency.

Founded by state school boards associations in late 2021, the Consortium of State School Boards Associations (COSSBA) is a non-partisan, national alliance dedicated to sharing resources and information to support, promote and strengthen state school boards associations as they serve their local school districts and board members.

Founding members include the Minnesota School Boards Association, which cut ties with NSBA in early 2022.