SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – On Friday, the South Carolina School Board officially voted to cut ties with the National School Boards Association. This follows a letter from the National Board to President Biden which South Carolina leaders believe incorrectly reflects the state.
The letter states concerns about the National School Boards members’ safety. It specifically requested a federal investigation into reports of threats and attacks towards its members, many of which pertain to people’s stance on COVID-19 policies in schools.
“America’s public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat. The National
School Boards Association (NSBA) respectfully asks for federal law enforcement and other assistance
to deal with the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the
nation,” the letter stated.
“We felt that the letter from NSBA just did not represent the values that we have in South Carolina,” said Scott Price, Executive Director of the South Carolina School Boards Association.
According to the South Carolina School Boards Association, they strongly stand with parental input.
“With everything that was going on, with everything that school boards were dealing with in South Carolina already, we knew that this was an issue that was going to come up and has already come up at some local school board communities,” said Price. “The board determined that it was in the best interest to protect our membership and to leave the National School Boards Association immediately.”
The board also stated concern regarding the call for federal intervention.
“We also were concerned about the call for federal intervention through the letter and again our values for South Carolina reflect local decision making and local control,” said Price.
On Friday, a special meeting was called to finalize the state school boards’ national membership. The decision withdrew the SCSBA from the NSBA.
“The strongest school board system that we could have is going to be one that is involving parents with community input and parental input. So, that was a value that we felt was one that we did not agree with the characterization that the NSBA made on that,” explained Price.
According to the South Carolina School Boards Association, because of its membership withdrawal on the national level, they lose resources like specific training, development, along with legal and legislative advocacy from the federal level.
The state board says they are actively looking for ways to fill that void and is confident that the South Carolina school boards have the necessary resources to continue providing the best education for its students.
“The focus has always been on students, providing education and making sure that we have the best education available for South Carolina students,” said Price. “It was a difficult decision, but it was one that we feel is in the best interest of our membership and we are not going to miss a beat. We are going to keep moving forward.”