By Terri Jo Neff |
Earlier this week the Arizona School Board Association voted to end its relationship with the National School Board Association, a group which has been under fire by parents, school officials, and legislators for several months.
In her Feb. 16 letter to NSBA, Dr. Sheila Harrison-Williams said the ASBA board of directors voted to discontinue membership in the national organization. Harrison-Williams, who is ASBA’s executive director, referenced a missive the national organization issued to President Joe Biden last fall in which the actions of parents trying to be involved in their children’s education were compared to acts of domestic terrorism.
NSBA has since replaced its executive director and launched a third-party review of certain association activities. But that has not eschewed further concern among Arizona’s school district officials and parents, Harrison-Williams wrote.
“Despite these efforts, it has become clear that ASBA’s continued membership in NSBA has become a hinderance to the work we are undertaking in Arizona on behalf of Arizona’s public school students,” she wrote, adding that the ASBA’s primary obligation is to advocate on behalf of Arizona’s students.
“We are unable to do that if we are continually called to account for the actions of NSBA,” Harrison-Williams wrote.
The ASBA’s announcement comes after state lawmakers were asked to support Senate Bill 1011, which would prohibit public school districts across Arizona from using taxpayer dollars to pay for membership in a state or national school board association. The bill is opposed by the Arizona Association of County School Superintendents and the Arizona School Administrators Association.
However, the issue has become a lightning rod among several school district boards outside Maricopa and Pima counties. Many of those boards have expressed dissatisfaction with what they see as partisan political interference by the NSBA. This, in turn, put pressure on ASBA’s board to cut ties with the national organization.
Learn more about SB1011 HERE http://azfreenews.com/2022/01/bill-would-bar-use-of-taxpayer-funds-for-school-board-association-dues/