Three more state school-board chapters, including those of Kentucky, Alabama, and Wisconsin, have ended their relationship with the National School Board Association over its letter to the Biden administration requesting federal intervention to penalize parents who protest at school-board meetings.
In response to the letter, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo stating that he would deploy the FBI in collaboration with federal law enforcement to investigate and potentially prosecute parents found guilty of threatening school administrators.
The number of state school-board associations that have disassociated with the headquarters now stands at eleven, including Florida, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Alabama, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, according to a database compiled by Parents Defending Education.
Rather than outright terminate its membership, a decision that its bylaws technically prohibit, Alabama’s chapter withheld its NSBA for the rest of the year.
“AASB has withheld its dues to join NSBA for the current membership year, though AASB’s bylaws require it to be an NSBA member. However, at AASB’s annual business meeting in December, delegates from each school board in the state will vote on a proposal to change AASB’s bylaws to give the AASB Board of Directors authority to determine NSBA membership,” the statement read.
On Wednesday, the Kentucky branch confirmed that it severed ties with the NSBA, citing grievances with “a pattern of dysfunction within the organization.” A spokesperson for the Kentucky group told the Courier Journal that it “objected to the tone, incendiary language, and some characterizations made within” the NSBA’s letter to President Biden characterizing parents as potential “domestic terrorists.”
On November 5, the Wisconsin chapter ended its participation in NSBA programs and activities but left open the possibility that it could rejoin if the organization restructures in a way that’s more compatible with its mission.
“Unfortunately, the NSBA needlessly caused substantial controversy this fall, which has negatively impacted relationships among school boards, parents, and community members. Those actions do not align with WASB policies and programs nor its mission to support, promote, and advance public education,” the departure letter read.
“In the coming months, the Board of Directors will closely monitor the actions and conduct of the NSBA as it searches for a new executive director for its association, restructures its leadership to rebuild a culture of trust and transparency, and takes steps to ensure that it is supporting the core mission of state school-board associations and their local school boards,” it continued.