Nov. 19, 2021
TO: All School board members
FROM: Janet Turner Giles, Preside & Gina Patterson, Executive Director
RE: VSBA Membership in the National School Boards Association
The VSBA Board of Directors held a special meeting on Thursday, November 18 during which the board voted to end its membership in NSBA effective June 30, 2022.
VSBA’s decision to withdraw from NSBA was necessary, but not made lightly and was not based merely on the letter that the NSBA Leadership sent to President Biden calling for broad federal law enforcement intervention. The decision to end membership with NSBA effective June 30, 2022, was made in response to a persistent pattern of dysfunction within the NSBA organization and among those charged with its governance.
Until this year, all 49 state school boards associations have maintained NSBA memberships, relying on the organization as a facilitator of training, federal advocacy efforts, shared resources, and networking. To date, thirteen states have officially withdrawn from NSBA. The VSBA board of directors no longer has faith in NSBA’s ability to effectively represent the interests of our state association and its members. For several years VSBA and many other state associations have repeatedly asked for corrective actions with governance and finances and received little to no action from NSBA that meets VSBA expectations.
The VSBA board of directors decided to continue membership in NSBA through June 30, 2022, not because it believes in the current direction of NSBA, but because we believe in you, our member boards. The board of directors wants to make sure that all member boards have time to prepare.
We realize that some member boards participate in National Connection, Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE), Council of School Attorneys (COSA) and have already registered for some events in 2022.
The board of directors has directed the executive director to work with other state associations to ensure that national training opportunities and advocacy at the federal level continue. The goal of the Virginia School Boards Association is a strong unified member-driven association, with local control of public education at the core. We cannot allow any organization to overstep the principles on which we were founded 115 years ago. Accompanying this memo is a Frequently Asked Questions document to address anticipated concerns.
Thank you for all that you do.