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Articles tagged with NSBA

NSBA and NYSSBA challenge unilateral placements in special education case

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is urging a federal appeals court to ensure that school districts are not required to reimburse parents who unilaterally choose educational placements for their children with disabilities if those placements are not appropriate under federal special education law.

NSBA joins the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) in an amicus brief asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to uphold a lower court decision in C.L. v. Scarsdale Union Free School District. The case was brought by parents who unilaterally placed their child, who has learning disabilities, in a private school then asked the school district for tuition reimbursement. School officials had determined that the child’s disability did not qualify him for special education services under the nation’s main special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The law requires students with disabilities to be educated with non-disabled children in a regular classroom to the extent it is appropriate to their educational needs.

“IDEA is intended to promote collaboration between schools and families, and a school district should not be required to pay for an inappropriate private placement that was made without its input,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “A core tenet of IDEA is that students with disabilities should not be cut off from environments that include their non-disabled peers.”

The amicus brief written by NYSSBA responds to a U.S. Department of Justice position that the school district should pay for the restrictive placement unless it proves that there were other less restrictive private placements available to the parents but that those options were rejected without reason.

“School districts recognize the importance of working with families to determine appropriate placements for students with disabilities,” said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy  G. Kremer. “However, a school district shouldn’t be required to pay for a restrictive  private school unilaterally chosen by a parent.  School officials and parents should be partners not adversaries in this process.”

NSBA’s Legal Clips also has written about the case.


Joetta Sack-Min|March 25th, 2013|Categories: Board governance, School Boards, School Law, Special Education|Tags: , , |

NSBA’s Technology Leadership Network announces 2013 class of “20 to Watch”

The National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) Technology Leadership Network (TLN) has named its “20 to Watch” honors for 2012-2013. These education leaders from across the country are being recognized for their ability to inspire colleagues to incorporate innovative technology solutions that contribute to high-quality learning environments and more efficient school district operations.

“The ’20 to Watch’ honorees offer school board members and other leaders real-world stories that help them evaluate the intersection of policy and practice when it comes to today’s emerging technologies,” said Ann Flynn, NSBA’s Director of Educational Technology. “These early adopters are naturally curious about technology’s potential to help transform learning and exhibit traits that inspire and motivate their colleagues to join them on the journey. Their voices and experience will inform local, district, and state approaches to education technology decisions for years to come.”

NSBA established the “20 to Watch” program in 2006. This year’s honorees will be recognized at 2013 Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) Conference on March 11th in San Diego and also at TLN-hosted luncheon at NSBA’s 2013 Annual Conference, also in San Diego, this April. TechSmith Corporation is sponsoring the “20 to Watch” celebration events and is providing software scholarships to the honorees.

The 2012-2013 honorees are (listed by state/territory):

Andrew Chlup, Director of Technology, Vail Unified School District, Ariz.
As the primary architect behind the Beyond Textbooks initiative, Andrew Chlup is among the national leaders transitioning from print to digital resources. New projects that can improve education include helping the community’s homeschooled students participate through blended learning, delving deep into the district’s Big Data, and finding other “cool stuff,” according to his superintendent.

Keith Bockwoldt, Director of Technology Services, Township High School District 214, Ill.
Collaborator and visionary are two terms used to describe Keith Bockwoldt’s leadership style, which has saved his district more than $120,000 annually by moving to the cloud. He also has successfully shown the district’s senior leaders how technology can transform learning, and he has established systems that support and inspire teachers to embrace iPads and “flipped” classes.

Ann Linson, Superintendent, East Noble School Corporation, Ind.
As an innovative technology leader, Superintendent Ann Linson has inspired her teachers to abandon textbooks, flip classes, and embrace the district’s 1:1 learning initiatives by providing professional development through building-level peer coaches. She is leading an online course pilot for current students and the homeschooled students in her community.

Theresa Shafer, Online Community Manager, New Tech Network, Ind.
From starting weekly international Twitter chats about project-based learning (#PBLChat) to using Pinterest boards for education, Theresa Shafer casts an ever-expanding net to willingly share what she knows about social media with colleagues and community members. Helping students think about the kind of digital footprint they are creating and how it might impact the future they desire has been a special focus.

Kelly Williams, Teacher, USD 115 Nemaha Central Schools, Nemaha Valley High School, Kan.
Kelly Williams’ blog has been an invaluable resource that has helped teachers understand that changing instruction from teacher-centered to student-centered is a complicated, but worthwhile, process. In his blog, he has discussed strategies to use technology, from iPads and social media to cloud-based tools and flipped classes.

Ed Bonhaus, Technology Integration Specialist, Kenton County School District, Ky.
Ed Bonhaus provided critical firsthand knowledge about technology in Kentucky’s Race to the Top grant process. But he didn’t stop there—he is now providing online professional development and working on the first flipped classroom for the Kentucky iTunes campus. And inspired by what he saw during NSBA’s site visit to the Clark County (Nev.) School District in 2012, he is pursuing a vision to transform a low performing elementary school with minimal technology into a 21st century school.

Dr. Robert Dillon, Principal, Maplewood Richmond Heights School District, Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School, Mo.
Robert Dillon, “story-teller-in-chief,” provides a constant flow of information to parents and community members about the positive work of students in his school’s 7-year-old 1:1 program, where they engage and document authentic learning by bringing technology to the field, and using social media and digital story telling as teaching tools. His work with teachers to create electronic portfolios also provides a platform for deep reflection by students.

Jhone M. Ebert, Chief Technology Officer, Clark County School District, Nev.
Jhone Ebert embodies the essential skill set for a Chief Technology Officer, as she recognizes her primary role is to evaluate and implement technology solutions that further advance student achievement. In Clark County, the nation’s 5th largest school district, that includes supporting a robust infrastructure and a virtual school, introducing a more effective web presence, and leading the move toward competency-based education and blended learning.

New Jersey:
Jeanine Gottko, Master Technology Teacher, Westfield Public Schools, N.J.
The 21st century learning environments thrive at Westfield’s elementary schools, as Jeanine Gottko supports teachers in and out of their classes, in professional development sessions, and through her online resource blog as part of a $1.2 million technology initiative. By ensuring technology was effectively incorporated into the district’s other grant on literacy, her work serves as a model for others.

Kenneth Zushma, Technology, Design and Pre-Engineering Teacher, Livingston Public Schools, Heritage Middle School, N.J.
Although gender equity remains a concern for most STEM initiatives, Kenneth Zushma’s female engineering club, FemGineers, is inspiring a new generation of middle school girls to get involved and is boosting their confidence and achievement. The club participates in competitions like the National Engineers Week Future City Design Challenge that uses SimCity software, analysis and scale models to create a solution for an engineering problem.

New York:
Jenny M. Buccos, Executive Director & Founder,, N.Y.

Since 2006, founder Jenny Buccos has provided free resources through technology that encourage students to become aware of the world beyond their own communities by using video, photography, vocabulary, and lesson plans. After directing and producing more than 400 of these short films, her international work has been described as a “positive voice in a sea of global misunderstanding,” and is used across the United States and in more than 40 countries.

Jayne Clare, Special Education Teacher, Southampton Union Free School District, Southampton Intermediate School, N.Y.
Jayne Clare’s room was once described as “magical” by a colleague who observed students with multiple learning problems effortlessly navigating technology she had tailored to their needs. With time, that expertise blossomed into support for district technology initiatives, including iPad integration for grades 6-8, and the creation of her influential Teachers With Apps site.

North Carolina:
Jayme Linton, Director of Teacher Education, Lenoir-Rhyne University, N.C.

Building on years of practical experience in K-12 settings, Jayme Linton is training a new generation of teachers to effectively integrate technology into their classrooms and assume leadership roles with their peers. Her influence extends beyond her students as she shares and learns from others in her Personal Learning Network and works with in-service teachers in local schools and districts.

Jeremy Shorr, Educational Technologist, Mentor Public Schools, Ohio
Jeremy Shorr knows how to match the latest and most effective technology tools to the research-based Common Core resources and strategies to meet students’ and teachers’ instructional needs. Currently, Jeremy is working to deploy a district-wide 1:1 initiative as well as a building-wide blended learning environment at the middle school level.

Dr. L. Robert Furman, Principal, South Park School District, South Park Elementary Center, Pa.
World Future Society member, author, and principal L. Robert Furman believes technology should be embraced as a standard educational practice. He leads by example, presenting the latest technological tools to inspire his teachers, engage his parents, and enrich learning each day for his students. He shares his ideas, both virtually and in person, with audiences across the country.

Thomas Stauffer, Director of Technology Services, Dallastown Area School District, Pa.
Students can have an entirely online educational experience, thanks to Thomas Stauffer’s work to develop the district’s virtual academy, or they can elect various blended courses that may better meet their needs. He has been instrumental in developing technology applications for administrators to use in their walk-through observations as the state moves towards a new teacher evaluation system.

South Carolina:
Dr. Christopher Craft, Teacher, School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties, CrossRoads Middle School, S.C.
In Christopher Craft’s innovative middle school STEM program, students work on cutting-edge technologies such as building functioning hydrogen fuel cell model cars, app development for smart phones, and video game creation. His after-school program encourages at-risk students to explore robotics and reflects his belief that when children are provided with the appropriate technological tools, their potential is unlimited.

Stephanie Green, Assistant Director Educational Technology/Director Library Services, Klein Independent School District, Texas

Stephanie Green has been instrumental to the district’s 1:1 tablet PC program serving more than 12,000 students and 700 teachers to make digital learning the norm. Her role takes on even greater significance as she shares that experience with state legislators through the Texas Capitol School House project. She has also led the transformation of the district’s libraries into 21st century learning and support centers.

Todd Nesloney, Fifth Grade Teacher, Waller Independent School District, Fields Store Elementary, Texas
While lots of teachers are “flipping” their classes, few have been as successful as Todd Nesloney’s effort. He earned a $100,000 grant that provided fifth grade students on his campus (where 66 percent of the students are on free and reduced lunch) and others in the district with an iPhone 4, pre-loaded Verizon data plan and internet access at home. A founding partner in the training company, The 3 Tech Ninjas, Todd is committed to sharing his experience with other educators.

London Jenks, Science Teacher/Director of Technology, Hot Springs County School District 1, Thermopolis High School, Wyo.

Project-based learning, a paperless classroom and the effective integration of iPads into instruction are typical features of London Jenks’ science classes. But they also are among the ideas he shares with district colleagues in his role as Director of Technology, where he works with other educators to increase student engagement and academic rigor through the use of technology.

Since 1987, TLN has served local district leadership teams that establish policy and implement technology decisions to enhance teaching and learning, administrative operations, and community outreach.


Joetta Sack-Min|March 4th, 2013|Categories: 21st Century Skills, Educational Technology, Social Networking, Teachers, Technology Leadership Network|Tags: , , , |

School boards look for more ways to cut budgets as sequester becomes reality

With across-the-board federal cuts taking effect today through sequestration, school boards will need to make tough budget decisions to account for the decrease in federal education funding. As school boards begin to craft budgets for the 2013-14 school year, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) is calling for Washington leaders to work out a deal to ensure schools are able to continue programs and avoid teacher and staff layoffs.

“Congress and the Obama administration must act now to alleviate these cuts to education before school districts have to issue pink slips and inform parents that vital programs and resources are going to be cut,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, NSBA’s Executive Director. “These new federal cuts to education will push back the progress our school districts have made in student achievement. School districts are going to have to make difficult choices as they develop their budgets for the next school year, and for years to come as the cuts continue.”

More than 700 school boards have passed resolutions urging Congress to avoid the sequestration process, which will now impose across-the-board cuts of about 5 percent to education and other domestic programs beginning in FY2013. Nationwide, K-12 programs and Head Start would face almost a $3 billion reduction for Fiscal Year 2013, according to the White House. These new cuts are an additional reduction to federal funding for education, as K-12 education programs were already reduced on the federal level with cuts to education funding in Fiscal Year 2011.

According to Feb. 14 written testimony by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Title I federal grants for disadvantaged students would be cut by $726 million, reducing instructional support to almost 1.2 million educationally disadvantaged children and eliminating more than 10,000 teachers and aides, and special education funding would be reduced by $579 million, shifting those costs to states and school districts. These federal budget cuts are scheduled to continue through 2021 and will have a substantial effect on our schools, eroding the base of funding for key programs year after year.

Earlier this week, NSBA President C. Ed Massey, a school board member for the Boone County Schools in Florence, Ky., was featured on NPR discussing the impact to his school district from sequestration noting that he expects to see a significant hit — between $1.1 and $1.3 million to Boone County Schools which would be a loss of approximately 15 teachers.

Joetta Sack-Min|March 1st, 2013|Categories: Board governance, Budgeting, Federal Advocacy, Federal Programs, Policy Formation, Student Achievement, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Education leaders discuss sequestration’s impact to public education

National School Boards Association (NSBA) President C. Ed Massey participated in a Feb. 27 press conference call to rally against the scheduled federal budget cuts, known as the sequester, that are schedule to take place on Friday. The call was organized by the Committee for Education Funding, a coalition of 100 national education organizations including NSBA, to highlight the planned program cuts and teacher layoffs that will occur if Congress does not intervene.

Massey’s school district, the Boone County Schools in Florence, Ky., would see particular impact on programs for disadvantaged programs. The 20,000-student school district will have to eliminate about 15 jobs funded by Title I grants and will have to scale back programs that help struggling students learn to read by providing reading coaches in classrooms.

“In those areas where we struggle the most, those are the areas where we will be hardest hit,” Massey said. “This takes away [disadvantaged students’] resources to make progress in this very competitive world we live in.”

On that call, CEF Executive Director Joel Packer said that the sequester would lead to the largest education cuts ever at the federal level, and would bring the total K-12 budget back to the level of the fiscal year 2004 budget.

Packer noted that Head Start, which provides early education services to low-income children, would see immediate cuts that would eliminate slots for about 70,000 children and cut 10,000 teacher jobs.

The U.S. Department of Education would see cuts of $2.5 billion, but because all K-12 programs except for Impact Aid are funded for the next school year, the effect of the cuts would not be seen until the 2013-14 school year.

Joetta Sack-Min|February 27th, 2013|Categories: Budgeting, Educational Finance, Educational Legislation, Federal Advocacy, Federal Programs, Legislative advocacy, Policy Formation|Tags: , , , , , |

School boards prepare for layoffs, program cuts as federal deadline looms

School boards across the country will be forced to lay off thousands of teachers and teacher aides in coming weeks as they create their budgets for the 2013-14 academic year because of the federal budget cuts scheduled to take place March 1.

The sequester, which will require across the board budget cuts for all federal programs on March 1, will eliminate about 5 percent of funding for K-12 programs and Head Start. However, representatives from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) pointed out in a press conference call this week that those cuts disproportionately affect school districts that are educating large populations of disadvantaged students.

Michael A. Resnick, NSBA’s Associate Executive Director for Federal Advocacy and Public Policy, noted that many school districts are beginning to plan next year’s budgets, and in an informal survey, three-quarters said they would be issuing layoff notices this spring.

For some school districts, the process of issuing pink slips has already started.

Minnie Forte-Brown, a school board member in Durham, N.C., and chair of NSBA’s Council of Urban Boards of Education, said her school district planned to eliminate 34 teacher and staff positions. Title I cuts would be about $800,000 of about $1.7 million in cuts that the 33,000 student school would endure for the next 10 years, special education would amount to another $600,000 each year.

The school board has already stopped filling vacant positions and has cut all travel and professional development.

“We are implementing extreme measures,” said Forte-Brown. “This is not the promise we made to our families when we said we were going to educate excellently.”

In rural Alabama, Steve Foster, vice president of the Lowndes County Board of Education, said his school district has already seen significant state cuts in recent years, and a further reduction from the federal government would diminish books and classroom supplies, teacher retention and professional development programs, and cuts to the library, where many parents and students who do not have home computers or internet access go to work on school assignments.

”Our school system has made great strides in the last 10 to 12 years. These cuts are going to affect the programs that help us make progress,” said Foster, who is also President of the Alabama Association of School Boards.

President Obama has frequently used education and early childhood examples in recent speeches about the impact of sequestration on the country. The White House released state-by-state estimates that include how much K-12 funding each state stands to lose, the number of teacher and staff jobs, the number of children that will lose access to Head Start, and other details. (The Washington Post published this graphic detailing the cuts.)

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan also appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program on February 24 to warn of the impact of the looming cuts to K-12 programs.

More than 700 school boards have passed resolutions urging Congress to stop the sequester. Go to NSBA’s website,, for sample letters, resolutions, and other activities for school boards.


Joetta Sack-Min|February 26th, 2013|Categories: Board governance, Budgeting, Educational Finance, Educational Legislation, Federal Advocacy, Federal Programs, Legislative advocacy, Policy Formation, School Boards, Teachers|Tags: , , , , , , |

Proposed USDA rules on snack foods will burden school districts

Every U.S. school district will be affected by new rules on school snacks proposed earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to the National School Boards Association (NSBA).

No state currently has standards that fully comply with the Department’s proposal for “competitive foods,” which include foods sold in vending machines, school stores and a la carte lines , said NSBA’s Director of Federal Programs Lucy Gettman.

The rules are part of the 2010 Child Nutrition Act reauthorization that requires the Secretary of Agriculture to issue mandatory standards for competitive foods. The proposed rule sets requirements for calories, total fat, saturated fat, transfat, sugar and vitamin or nutrient content of all foods sold outside the school meal programs, on the school campus and at any time during the school day.

Further, school districts would be burdened by new reporting and monitoring requirements, Gettman said. Maintaining receipts, nutrition labels and product specifications for competitive food service would apply throughout the campus, not just to the school food authority.  NSBA is carefully analyzing the proposal and plans to send comments to the USDA.

NSBA has had ongoing concerns about the impact of the law, known as the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, and the ensuing regulatory standards. Restrictions on competitive foods, for one, could dramatically lower revenues used to fund athletics and extracurricular activities.

“The USDA is regulating in the dark when it comes to the impact on instruction and school revenue from competitive food sales, because there is no comprehensive data on how much revenue schools raise and how it is used,” Gettman said.

The USDA, which has been criticized for its heavy-handed approach to what traditionally has been a local issue, noted in its announcement that the proposed regulations would still allow parents to send in bagged lunches of their choosing or treats for activities such as birthday parties, holidays, and other celebrations.

The proposal also would allow schools to continue “infrequent” fundraisers and bake sales, as long as they are not conducted in the cafeteria or during regular meal times. And foods sold at after school sporting events or other activities would not be subject to the requirements.

The USDA characterizes the proposed rule as a minimum standard.  Additional state or local standards may impose more stringent requirements if they are consistent with the Department’s final rule.

Joetta Sack-Min|February 12th, 2013|Categories: Budgeting, Educational Legislation, Federal Advocacy, Federal Programs, Food Service, Nutrition, Obesity, Policy Formation|Tags: , , , |

NSBA urges White House to protect federal K-12 funding

The economic impact of federal budget cuts now scheduled for early March would lead to long-term damage to investments in education and the nation’s infrastructure, White House economic advisers told representatives from Washington organizations at a Feb. 6 meeting.

National School Boards Association (NSBA) Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel participated in the White House meeting to discuss ways that the impending federal budget cuts could be halted for education and other domestic policy programs.

The sequester, which is the automatic across-the-board cuts amounting to about 5.1 percent reductions in all federal programs, will take place in March unless Congress approves a new plan. The sequestration was scheduled as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011.

The White House officials said that a total of about $4 trillion needed to be cut from the federal budget over the next 10 years, and were confident that tax increases and budget cuts that were approved to avoid the first deadline on Jan. 2 should cover up to half that amount, although other estimates have put the savings at $1 trillion or less. The White House has pushed for a “balanced, rational approach,” and has lobbied Congress to make changes to the plan, but neither Republican nor Democrat leaders have been able to craft a plan that could pass both chambers of Congress.

“The long-term impact of cuts to education programs, particularly those for students with disabilities and students from low-income homes, would hurt the quality of education in many school districts,” said Gentzel.  “NSBA is committed to working with the White House and members of Congress so that they understand the potential damage these cuts would inflict on our schools and on our nation’s economy.”

The White House advisors also expressed concerns that new plans floated by members of Congress would have a detrimental impact on education and other domestic programs. Specifically, Gentzel said the advisors warned groups to be skeptical of a plan that would give agencies flexibility in how to manage the cuts, as that would not have significant benefits.  They also warned the group that if the sequester takes place, the cuts might not appear to have a large impact immediately, but over the course of the 10-year schedule the reductions would significantly damage the nation’s economic infrastructure.

Michael A. Resnick, NSBA’s Associate Executive Director for Federal Advocacy and Public Policy, estimates that the planned cuts to K-12 programs would only amount to about .0007 percent of the total federal budget.

“Education cuts would have very little impact on the plan to reduce the nation’s deficit, but these cuts would have a dramatic long term effect on local school district budgets,” said Resnick.  “This is not a strategic way of managing the economy.”

Some 700 school boards have passed resolutions to oppose the sequester, and NSBA is encouraging all school board members to contact their members of Congress and urge them to spare education programs. For more information and sample resolutions, visit NSBA’s Stop Sequestration web page.


Joetta Sack-Min|February 11th, 2013|Categories: Budgeting, Educational Finance, Educational Legislation, Federal Advocacy, Federal Programs, Legislative advocacy, Policy Formation, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |

NSBA joins state and local government groups to push for ESEA reauthorization

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) has signed on to a letter urging key members of Congress to pass a comprehensive reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) this year.

The Feb. 4 letter was coordinated by the National Governors Association (NGA) and was signed by nine groups representing state and city leaders and elected officials. It was sent to leaders of the House and Senate education committees.

The ESEA reauthorization “is truly ‘must pass’ legislation,” according to the letter. It notes that the current law is flawed and shifts too much control away from states and local governments and focuses on punishments rather than rewards.

The letter states: “Only a full reauthorization of ESEA can adequately address the challenges state and local governments face in education. Policymakers at the state, local, and school district level need a long-term resolution and solution to NCLB. As we struggle to reallocate scarce federal resources and face economic uncertainty, we need greater federal funding flexibility. Most of all, we need federal policies that authentically support state and local innovation so that every student will be prepared for college or careers.”

The coalition, which includes NGA, NSBA, the National Conference of State Legislatures, The Council of State Governments, National League of Cities, International City/County Managers Association, National Association of Counties, United States Conference of Mayors, and National Association of State Boards of Education, wrote two similar letters in 2012 pushing for an ESEA reauthorization.



NSBA offers webinars on emerging legal issues for school districts

The National School Boards Association’s Council of School Attorneys (COSA) has planned a series of webinars this spring on emerging legal issues for school districts and their attorneys.

COSA will host a webinar on Feb. 7 on the Affordable Health Care Act that will discuss some of the major components of the ACA. The webinar will address: State Health Insurance Exchanges, some Group Health Plan Requirements (Summary of Benefits, W-2 reporting, FSA contributions, “full time employee” determinations, and more), the Individual Mandate, Medicaid, and requirements due to kick in next year.

On Feb. 26, the NSBA legal team will present a boot camp on major U.S. Supreme Court cases impacting public education.

And beginning on March 19, COSA will offer a three-part series of webinars on the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and recent changes in guidance to school districts. COSA notes that school districts all over the country have experienced a new level of vigor in the investigations of discrimination complaints filed with multiple federal agencies. The webinars will show how a proactive hands-on approach to handling OCR complaints will benefit school districts in their current and future dealings with OCR and will provide suggested best practices. The series includes:

  • Before OCR Arrives: Preventative Steps (March 19)
  • Types of OCR Investigations and Their Outcomes (May 7)
  • Nuts and Bolts of an OCR Investigation: From Initial Notice to Closure Letter (June 11)

More details about the costs and registration are available on COSA’s webpage. State associations have free access to these sessions.

In addition, COSA’s 2011 and 2012 webinars  are now available for purchase and download. If you paid to attend a session and want to listen again, contact COSA for a code to replay for free.


Joetta Sack-Min|February 6th, 2013|Categories: School Law|Tags: , , , |

School boards ask Congress to revamp regulatory process and prevent overreach

More than 700 school board members and state school boards association leaders are meeting with their members of Congress today and urging them to co-sponsor legislation, developed by the National School Boards Association (NSBA), to protect local school district governance from unnecessary and counter-productive federal intrusion from the U.S. Department of Education. The leaders took part in NSBA’s 40th annual Federal Relations Network Conference and spent the final day, January 29, lobbying on Capitol Hill.

The proposed legislation would ensure that the Department of Education’s actions are consistent with the specific intent of federal law and are educationally, operationally, and financially supportable at the local level. This would also establish several procedural steps that the agency would need to take prior to initiating regulations, rules, grant requirements, guidance documents, and other regulatory materials. The legislation is also designed to more broadly underscore the role of Congress as the federal policy-maker in education and through its representative function.

“In recent years, the U.S. Department of Education has engaged in a variety of activities to reshape the educational delivery system,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, NSBA’s Executive Director. “All too often these activities have impacted local school district policy and programs in ways that have been beyond the specific legislative intent. School board leaders are simply asking that local flexibility and decision-making not be eroded through regulatory actions.

The proposal also is intended to provide Congress and the public with better information regarding the local impact of Department of Education’s activities through annual reports.

“We must ensure that the decisions made at the federal level will best support the needs and goals of local school systems and the communities they serve,” said Gentzel. “Local school boards must have the ability to make on-the-ground decisions that serve the best interests of our school districts.”




Joetta Sack-Min|January 29th, 2013|Categories: Board governance, Educational Legislation, Federal Advocacy, Federal Programs, FRN Conference 2013, Governance, School Boards|Tags: , , |
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