The National School Boards Association (NSBA) continues to struggle following its controversial letter to the Biden administration urging the Department of Justice to target parents who speak out at school board meetings.
According to The Washington Post, the organization is “at risk of total collapse” following the ongoing controversy.
“Nineteen mostly GOP-led states have withdrawn from the association or promised to when this year’s membership expires, and six members of what was a 19-person board have left. Several states are discussing forming an alternative association for school boards. A new executive director of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) is working to save the organization, lobbying individual states to reconsider, but so far he has not persuaded any of them to change their minds,” the outlet reported.
John Heim, the new executive director, told the Post that he hopes “they’ll give us a chance” and that his goal is to “rebuild trust” in the organization.
The news comes after it was reported that Education Secretary Miguel Cardona “solicited” the NSBA’s letter comparing parents protesting COVID-19 policies and the teaching of Critical Race Theory to domestic terrorism, The Daily Wire reported. The letter suggested that “as these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
The DOJ used the letter to direct the FBI to assist local law enforcement and use federal laws like the Patriot Act to crack down on parent protests. Newly released emails show that Cardona reached out to the NSBA to write the letter.
“The email exchange indicates Cardona was more involved with the letter’s creation than previously known,” Fox News reported. “In the Oct. 5 email, NSBA Secretary-Treasurer Kristi Swett recounted that NSBA interim CEO Chip Slaven ‘told the officers he was writing a letter to provide information to the White House, from a request by Secretary Cardona.’”
“Previous emails had revealed that the NSBA was in contact with the White House and Justice Department in the weeks before it publicly sent the letter,” Fox added.
The emails were obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request from Parents Defending Education.
The NSBA in October apologized for its letter, The Daily Wire reported, saying that the letter wasn’t approved by the board before it was sent.
“On behalf of NSBA, we regret and apologize for the letter,” the organization wrote in a letter to NSBA members. “To be clear, the safety of school board members, other public school officials and educators, and students is our top priority, and there remains important work to be done on this issue. However, there was no justification for some of the language included in the letter. We should have had a better process in place to allow for consultation on a communication of this significance. We apologize also for the strain and stress this situation has caused you and your organizations.”
In December, The Daily Wire reported that the NSBA had lost more than $1 million after numerous state chapters ended their memberships and thus stopped paying dues.