Ohio School Boards Assoc. leaves national school boards group

Staff report

COLUMBUS — The Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) Board of Trustees has chosen to end its affiliation with the National School Boards Association (NSBA).

“The Board of Trustees’ decision was prompted by NSBA’s recent letter to President Joe Biden requesting federal intervention at local school board meetings,” said OSBA Chief Executive Officer Rick Lewis.

After discussing serious concerns about the letter, the Board of Trustees directed Lewis to send a letter to NSBA notifying it that OSBA would not continue its membership in the national federation. OSBA’s letter to NSBA is posted at http://links.ohioschoolboards.org/80805/.

The letter stated, “The NSBA letter demonstrated just how out of touch the national association is with the concerns of local school boards and the principle of local control. OSBA can no longer allow NSBA to speak for our association or our membership and no longer see the value of continued membership.”

As well, the OSBA letter told NSBA, “If we had been consulted, we would have strongly disagreed with NSBA’s decision to request federal intervention as well as your claims of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

“We were not informed of or asked for any input into the creation of the letter sent to the president,” Lewis said. “We believe in the value of parental and community discussion at school board meetings, and there is tremendous value in allowing and encouraging the public to have meaningful input into the decision-making process. However, that participation should not come at the expense of interfering with the board’s ability to conduct its business or subjecting individual board members to threats of violence, abuse, or harassment. But dealing with such interference should be dealt with at the local level, not by federal officials.

“We believe the letter from NSBA leadership demonstrated how out of touch the national association is with the concerns of local school boards and the principle of local control. Because of that, OSBA no longer sees the value of continued NSBA membership.”

Ohio District 84 Rep. Susan Manchester (R-Waynesfield) agreed with the decision, posting on her Facebook page, “I applaud the action of the OSBA to disassociate itself from the National School Boards Association by terminating its membership with them. Parents should always be able to voice their opinions and concerns over what their children are being taught.”

For further information on the Ohio School Boards Association, visit www.ohioschoolboards.org.