Founded in 1940, the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) purpose is to ensure each student everywhere has access to excellent and equitable public education governed by high-performing school board leaders and supported by the community.
With members spread across the United States, the Virgin Islands, and Canada, NSBA is the only national organization representing school boards. Along with its member state associations and member public school districts representing locally elected school board officials serving millions of public school students, NSBA believes that public education is a civil right necessary to the dignity and freedom of the American people and that each child, regardless of their ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, identity, or citizenship, deserves equitable access to an education that maximizes their individual potential.
A non-partisan association, NSBA leads through working with members, affiliates, and stakeholders to advocate for high-quality public education and school board governance with the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.
NSBA regularly works with the administration and Congress on the common challenges facing ALL school board members, whether they reside in our largest cities or our most remote rural areas. Included among these challenges:
- Providing support for historically disadvantaged students.
- Increasing broadband access and closing the homework gap.
- Ensuring that each classroom is staffed with a highly qualified teacher.
- Providing support for students with disabilities and mental health needs.
- Addressing learning recovery as a result of inequities already existing, but exacerbated by the pandemic.
NSBA also represents its members’ interests before federal and state courts and has participated as amicus curiae in numerous cases addressing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the importance of diversity in public schools, and other legal issues affecting public schools.
NSBA’s resources and networks include the Center for Public Education (CPE), the Conference of State Association Legislative Staff (CSALS), Council of School Attorneys (COSA), Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE), National American Indian and Alaska Native Council of School Board Members (AIAN), National Black Council of School Board Members (NBC), National Hispanic Council of School Board Members (NHC), and the National School Boards Action Center (NSBAC).
NSBA allows ALL school districts — including those in nonmember states — to attend NSBA convenings and participate in NSBA programs such as Annual Conference, Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE), National Connection, the Equity Councils, and the Council of School Attorneys (COSA). Additionally, school board members from districts in member state associations that are in good standing with their state association are eligible for discounted rates for NSBA events; recognition through NSBA individual, district, and state awards; and appearances and presentations at NSBA events.
NSBA and our members will continue to lead the national conversation about public education, advocate for public policies that ensure each student everywhere has access to an excellent public education where they live, create a better understanding of the importance of school boards and the benefits of local governance, and enhance the effectiveness of school boards.
NSBA’s public policy agenda is determined by a Delegate Assembly made up of local school board members who represent their state associations of school boards. NSBA’s Board of Directors translates this policy into action. Programs and services are administered by NSBA’s Executive Director and CEO, and by professional staff headquartered within the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area in Alexandria, Virginia.