Georgia School Boards Group Splits With National Association

ATLANTA (AP) — An association that advocates for Georgia’s school boards has severed ties with its national group, partly over a letter to President Joe Biden regarding threats against school officials and employees.

The National School Boards Association had written the president in September to seek federal intervention aimed at keeping school board members and other school officials safe as some meetings became contentious.

The national group’s decision to seek federal intervention was criticized by school officials in many Georgia districts, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Leaders of the Georgia School Boards Association voted Tuesday to separate from the national group immediately, citing the letter and other grievances. Georgia joins a handful of other state school board associations that have broken with the national organization.

“The letter that the NSBA Leadership sent to President Biden calling for broad federal law enforcement intervention on behalf of school board members was concerning since GSBA did not ask for it, was not consulted about it, and did not agree with many of the statements” in it, states a letter from the state organization to its membership.

The national group’s letter to Biden was the latest of several grievances that led the state association to begin withholding dues in June, the Nov. 30 letter by GSBA Executive Director Valarie Wilson states. It also accuses the NSBA of “a persistent pattern of dysfunction.”

The national group did not respond to The Journal-Constitution's emails and voicemails seeking comment Thursday, the newspaper reported.

The split means that members of the state association can no longer participate in NSBA events and activities. Wilson said she has been instructed by her board to seek other national training opportunities and advocacy at the federal level.