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Delegate Assembly approves advocacy marching orders

Photo courtesy of Lifetouch Photography

NSBA’s Delegate Assembly approved the association’s “advocacy marching orders” at its business session Friday in Nashville. The meeting was held right before the start of NSBA’s Annual Conference, which opened Saturday.

“These resolutions form the basis for NSBA’s advocacy effort throughout the year,” said NSBA 2014-15 President Anne Byrne. “The delegates also voted on Beliefs and Policies that become part of NSBA’s enduring beliefs.”

The annual resolutions are in three core areas:

Core Area 1: The Reauthorization of Key Education Laws

NSBA urges Congress to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and include provisions that would:

  • Fully fund the law, along with other federal assistance programs that are critical to successfully achieving its goals, and
  • Ensure states and local districts have greater flexibility to make educationally sound decisions, including the use of multiple measures of academic achievement of academic achievement , and reaffirm the appropriate role of the executive branch, particularly the U.S. Department of Education and other federal agencies establishing requirements that directly impact local school district operations.

NSBA urges Congress to reauthorize and fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to:

  • Limit responsibilities for child find and evaluation of students with disabilities to only those students who reside within the boundaries of the local school districts.
  • Prohibit any court, administrative body, or other entity from requiring a school board or state within the US to provide for a child’s education, residential costs, or the cost of other services outside the U.S.
  • Prohibit tuition reimbursements for students with disabilities unilaterally placed by their parents in private schools
  • Ensure that the due process provisions are collaborative, effective, and efficient.
  • Always place the burden of proof in challenges to a student’s IEP upon the party bringing the challenge.
  • Eliminate unnecessary and overburdening requirements for local school districts that do not directly impact educational outcomes for students.
  • Establish a reasonable cap on plaintiff attorneys’ fees.

 

Core Area 2: Promoting Local Control Vis-a-Vis Federal Overreach

  • NSBA urges Congress to support the strength and integrity of the governance role of local school boards through legislation that clearly delineates the appropriate role of federal agencies.
  • NSBA supports a limited federal role in public education, and opposes the federal instruction and expansion of executive authority by the U.S. Department of Education and other federal agencies in the absence of authorizing legislation as an invalid exercise of delegated authority.
  • NSBA urges Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to grant autonomy and relief for school districts to successfully administer school meal programs increasing reimbursement levels and other federal funds to cover the cost of compliance and/or adjusting standards and policy to make implementation feasible within available resources.
  • NSBA urges Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to grant autonomy and relief for school districts to successfully administer school meal programs by 1) increasing reimbursement levels and other federal funds to cover the cost of compliance and/or 2) adjusting standards and policy to make implementation feasible within available resources. NSBA urges Congress and the department to rectify the cumulative negative impact of all provisions of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (PL 111-296) on school district budgets and operations, including indirect cost rules, mandatory standards for competitive foods, paid meal pricing regulations, training and certification requirements, and implementation of local school wellness policies.
  • NSBA urges Congress to involve local school boards in reducing regulations and policy for implementation so that no policy results in re-directing state and local funds from instruction to the school food authority or imposes additional costs on school districts. In addition, NSBA urges the USDA and other federal and state agencies responsible for food safety to improve and coordinate inspection, notification, and other protocols to ensure the nutritional value and safety of foods served meals. In addition, NSBA urges the Department of Agriculture and other federal and state agencies responsible for food safety to streamline inspection.

Core Area 3: Persistently Low-Performing Schools

NSBA urges Congress to adopt legislation that would increase support and financial resource to states and specific local educational agencies in reducing the number of persistently low-performing schools. Allowable use of such federal resources may include federal and state support for carrying out locally determined transformation plans, including technical assistance to districts, professional development support for school leaders, administrators, and teachers specifically addressing school transformation, parent education, and community engagement.

Also at the meeting, the assembly elected NSBA’s new officers and regional directors. They will take office on Monday, March 23.

The 2015-16 NSBA President, John Tuttle of Oklahoma, was formally introduced to the delegates. “This organization isn’t about one person and one theme. My career has been about service, and we need to be about service to our membership,” he said. “I hope all of you will share your needs with me, and we will work diligently toward those needs.”

The Delegate Assembly is the policy-making body of NSBA.

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