This week, the California School Board Association (CSBA) announced that it would not be renewing its annual membership with the National School Board Association (NSBA).

More than 14,000 school districts across the country use taxpayer dollars to pay the NSBA for lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C. In return, the association advocates for the interests of school board members throughout the country.

In 2019, the CSBA suspended its membership with the national association, citing problems with how the NSBA conducted internal business and its failure to address issues important to California.

This week, Dr. Susan Heredia, president of the CSBA, sent an email stating that the organization made multiple attempts to work with the NSBA and increase support for California’s priorities, but they were unable to resolve their differences.

“Ultimately, the board determined that we could no longer continue to participate in NSBA without undermining our mission… and sacrificing our core values and commitment to promote the interests of California governing board members and the students you serve,” said Heredia. “CSBA’s impending departure from NSBA signals a clean break with an approach to federal lobbying that has not always served CSBA’s interests well.”

The NSBA created controversy last September when they requested federal intervention at local school board meetings and referred to parents as “domestic terrorists” in a letter sent to President Biden and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.

This was in response to a nationwide movement of parents who pushed back against school boards on critical race theory, mask mandates, and explicit materials in their children’s schools. The NSBA pointed to several incidents where school board members walked out of meetings after being confronted by concerned parents, whom the board members referred to as “angry mobs.”

Although the organization soon issued an apology, 19 states withdrew their membership from the NSBA in reaction to the inflammatory letter. Other state school board associations, including the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), issued their own letters denouncing the NSBA’s conduct.

However, Texas remains a member of the NSBA, even as one of the country’s most liberal states has officially left the organization.

A group of nine Republican congressmen from Texas requested that TASB withdraw from the NSBA in response to the divisive letter.

Additionally, Mass Resistance, a pro-family activist group, has repeatedly called for TASB to withdraw from the NSBA. In a recent report detailing their efforts to push school board associations across the country out of the NSBA, Mass Resistance called for citizens to pay close attention to their state’s school board association.

“It’s time for every state school board association to disaffiliate from NSBA, or for local school boards to resign from their state groups if they do not,” wrote Mass Resistance. “But whether or not a state school board association has cut ties with the national association, citizens still need to be closely monitoring it. Many of these associations (even in “conservative” states) are still pushing the LGBT and CRT agendas to their local school boards!”

As even the wildly liberal state of California withdraws from the NSBA, TASB refuses to take further action, leaving Texas as one of the last member states of the controversial organization.

Katy Drollinger

Katy is eager to use her skills in writing and research to accurately report on issues for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Tarleton State University in 2021 after majoring in history and minoring in political science.

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