National School Boards Association

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The National School Boards Association is a national government sector lobbying association. Founded in 1940, it seeks to improve the quality of public education through leadership from school boards. "NSBA represents its State Association members and their 95,000 local school board members, virtually all of whom are elected. These local officials govern 14,500+ local school districts serving the nation's 50 million public school students. NSBA policy is determined by a 150-member Delegate Assembly of local school board members. The 25-member Board of Directors translates this policy into action. Programs and services are administered by the NSBA executive director and a 140-person staff."[1]

Taxpayer-funded lobbying

Main article: National government sector lobbying

In order to obtain membership in NSBA, a school board must be a member to the state affiliate. The dues combined, which are paid with district funds, can total $17,000 for a district.[2]


The NSBA stated its lobbying priorities in its “Legislative Issues: 110th Congress.”[3]

Improve the No Child Left Behind Act

As of 2008, the National School Boards Association wanted the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act. The NSBA's plan was incorporated in Don Young’s H.R. 648.[4]

The NSBA argued that the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act "established a rigorous but theoretical accountability system" for public schools, with student performance being measured from a single assessment and therefore resulting in solutions that were often over-broad and not targeted appropriately. NSBA argued that these solutions were not proven to significantly improve student and school performance.[5]

Increase federal funding for education

As of 2008, NSBA wanted an increase in Title I and IDEA funding by $2.5 billion each. NSBA also advocated a rejection of proposed cuts or eliminations to vocational education and education technology, as well as rejection of all private school voucher proposals.[6]

Strengthen teacher quality

NSBA believes Congress should:[7]

  • Give grants and other federal incentives to school districts and states, particularly schools that are difficult to staff, to help these schools recruit and retain quality teachers.
  • Improve NCLB's teacher requirements and incorporate more flexibility
  • Redirect some of NCLB's sanctions for professional development programs
  • Support alternative certification programs
  • Bolster teacher preparation programs
  • Produce research and best practices on teaching

Expand and improve early education

The NSBA wants a new federal grant program for expanding and sustaining universal preschool programs, as well as increased funding for the Head Start program.[8]

Protect Medicaid reimbursement for schools

NSBA wants school districts' ability to claim reimbursement for administrative and transportation expenses related to services they provide to Medicaid-eligible children with disabilities preserved.

Oppose private school vouchers

NSBA wants Congress to oppose any effort to subsidize private school tuition with taxpayer dollars via vouchers and tuition tax credits.

Protect and strengthen the E-rate program

The organization believes that E-rate should continue being well-funded.

Make support for public education a priority in global competitiveness bills

NSBA wants federal assistance for school districts to strengthen math, science and technology programs while still allowing for increasing federal funding for existing K-12 education programs.

Support better student nutrition/oppose new government mandates

The organization opposes expanding federal regulations that dictate nutrition standards to local school districts.

Income and expenses

National School Boards Association
Year Total expenses Total income Membership dues
(included in Total income)
2007[9] $24,727,186 $25,066,951 $2,388,656
2006[10] $25,836,206 $25,195,339 $2,309,893
2005[11] $24,067,960 $23,714,226 $2,221,284

State chapters

See: National School Boards Association members list

External links