California School Boards Association (CSBA) president Susan Heredia announced in a letter to CSBA members that the organization will not be renewing its membership in the National School Boards Association (NSBA) at the end of the current membership period. At a board meeting on March 26, the CSBA board of directors voted not to renew membership for the period beginning July 1, 2022.
According to Heredia, the board’s recent vote was “not the first time CSBA questioned whether California’s interests were being properly represented by NSBA,” for reasons she said included “CSBA’s inequitable representation in NSBA’s governance structure and the organization’s lack of support for policy issues of importance to California.” Heredia also said, “As a result [of 21 other state school boards associations leaving the NSBA], the organization’s future is in doubt and its present situation does not offer sufficient value to justify continued membership.”
The 21 state school boards associations mentioned by Heredia terminated their NSBA membership or suspended participation in the national association between Oct. 2021 and Feb. 2022. These actions followed a Sept. 2021 letter from the NSBA to Pres. Joe Biden (D) regarding what it described as “threats and acts of violence against public schoolchildren, public school board members, and other public school district officials and educators.” The NSBA later apologized for sending the letter.
While some state associations are in the process of forming a new organization called the Consortium of State School Boards Associations, Heredia said the CSBA board has chosen not to participate in any other organization and that the association “has been steadily increasing its presence in D.C. to compensate for the growing ineffectiveness of NSBA and allow for more robust and more direct advocacy on federal matters.”