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More than half of U.S. state school boards opposed the National Association of School Boards (NSBA) after the organization sent a letter to White House suggesting that parents might engage in domestic terrorism.
Specifically, 10 public school boards issued statements disagreeing with the letter, and 17 other public school boards voted to withdraw their membership, attendance, and / or dues from NSBA, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. being the most recent examples. according to a list of the organization of choice of school Parents Defending Education (PDE).
“Labeling parents as national terrorists is not a good strategy for your organization, whether you are a school board or any type of organization,” School Choice advocate Corey DeAngelis told Fox News. , about the movement against the NSBA.
The September 29 letter from the NSBA drew negative reactions from lawmakers, parents and education officials as it appeared to prompt a note from the Department of Justice (DOJ) about a nationwide investigation on bullying against school boards.
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Internal emails obtained by PDE in November show several state-level officials expressing dismay at the contents of the now infamous letter and the alleged review process. The emails also confirm that the NSBA was in communication with the White House “for weeks” before the DOJ memo.
Since then, 27 states have issued statements that disagree with the letter from the nonprofit education organization and 17 have withdrawn their memberships or dues, according to PDE.
The Georgia School Board Association and the Florida School Boards Association decided on Tuesday to secede from the national group. The Alabama Association of School Boards voted to do the same this week, according to 1918 news.
The NSBA apologized on Oct. 22 for the letter to Biden, saying “there was no justification for some of the language included in the letter.”
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“As we have reiterated since the letter was sent, we deeply appreciate not only the work of local school boards which make important contributions within our communities, but also the voice of parents, who should and must continue. to be heard when it comes to decisions about the education, health and safety of their children, ”said the association.
Still, DeAngelis believes the 10 states that rejected the NSBA’s letter but did not withdraw from the organization are not taking enough action.
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“If you are a state which still has not left itself behind, even after the [NSBA] walked away from his own letter, it doesn’t look very good for your condition, “he said.”[T]The only significant setback is actually withdrawing your membership fees or formally severing ties with regard to membership or participation in the national organization. “
He added that parents have become a special interest group in K-12 education when before, “the only special interest groups that had any real influence were the teachers’ unions and the superintendents “.
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“The teachers’ unions have finally overestimated their game to such an extent that they have woken up a sleeping giant – those parents who want more voice in their children’s education,” he said. “And I’m especially optimistic because parents care more about their kids than anyone else, and they’re going to be the special interest group in K-12 education from now on.”
The NSBA “advocates for equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership” and provides resources for local school boards to do so, according to its website.
Fox News’ Tyler O’Neil and The Associated Press contributed to this report.