In a press release issued Monday evening, TASB said the decision was ultimately due to NSBA’s call for the Biden administration to use counterterrorism tools against parents angry about mask mandates and critical race theory.
Following criticism of NSBA’s letter to the White House, NSBA conducted an internal review and pinned blame for the letter on a former leadership member. TASB said it had been awaiting the results of this internal review before making decisions about remaining in NSBA.
“Following a special called board meeting, the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) announced this evening that it was ending its membership in the National School Boards Association (NSBA) following the release of an independent investigation that found operational deficiencies and lack of internal controls and processes within NSBA,” the TASB press release reads.
“TASB had been actively monitoring NSBA efforts to rebuild trust following the release of a Sept. 29 letter to the Biden administration. On Monday, May 23, the TASB Board of Directors met to discuss the report — which discloses new details about the development of the NSBA Sept. 29 letter — and decided to leave the national group.”
TASB is a private association of public school boards in Texas that offers training for new school board trustees and lobbies for political goals in Austin. It had been an affiliate of NSBA, which lobbies in Washington, D.C on behalf of school boards.
On September 29, NSBA sent a letter to President Joe Biden that claimed America’s public schools were “under an immediate threat” from angry parents disrupting school board meetings, primarily over concerns about mask mandates, transparency, and critical race theory.
“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 letter reads.
The letter asks that federal law enforcement take action to prevent disruptions and violence at school board meetings.
“NSBA specifically solicits the expertise and resources of the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service, and its National Threat Assessment Center regarding the level of risk to public schoolchildren, educators, board members, and facilities/campuses,” the letter says.
“We also request the assistance of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to intervene against threatening letters and cyberbullying attacks that have been transmitted to students, school board members, district administrators, and other educators.”
Afterward, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland publicly directed federal law enforcement to address the issue. According to FBI whistleblowers, the agency has already created a new category of investigation for threats against school boards.
TASB distanced itself from the NSBA letter, and NSBA has since apologized for its tone. However, documents show that NSBA notified its state affiliates of the letter before sending it. Additionally, the letter is signed by then-NSBA president Viola Garcia, an Aldine ISD trustee who had previously led TASB.
NSBA’s internal review findings say the letter was not widely reviewed within the organization before it was sent.
Texas Republicans at the state and federal levels began pressuring TASB to leave the NSBA after the letter, including U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX-21) and state Rep. Brian Harrison (R-Waxahachie).
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