About Us

Mission, Vision, Goals

Tom Gentzel at Advocacy Institute 2014

NSBA: The Premier Advocate for Public Education

NSBA represents state school boards associations and their more than 90,000 local school board members. We believe education is a civil right, and public education is America’s most vital institution.

Our Mission

Working with and through our State Associations, NSBA Advocates for Equity and Excellence in Public Education through School Board Governance.

School Board Vision

NSBA’s School Board Vision for Public Education is our unified framework based on our mission. As public school advocates, we must be unified in our messaging and proactive in our delivery. Read more

Strategic Plan

We continue to adapt as challenges facing public education and local school governance grow. Our strategic plan features a more assertive approach to advocacy in the legislative, legal, and public arenas in an effort to shape the debate about public education and to counter the efforts of those who endanger this vital institution.

Strategic Direction

Given the challenges facing public education and efforts to restrict – or in some cases, even eliminate – the governance role of school boards, the need for a strong and effective National School Boards Association never has been greater. Our efforts to be the premier advocate for public education in America, through our work in the legislative, legal and public arenas, are directly impacting public policy. The focus on serving member state associations and, through them, school boards, is increasing capacity to make local governance and the public education system even better.

Advocacy and member service establish a trajectory that will continue to define NSBA’s work in the coming years. This will involve: leading the national conversation about public education; confronting those who would seek to privatize or otherwise undermine the nation’s system of public schools; proposing our own plans to ensure that all students everywhere have access to a great public education where they live; and providing the services and support state school boards associations need to enhance the effectiveness of local school boards. And, to make all this possible, NSBA will make as a continuing priority the strengthening of its financial position and internal capacity.

Our Goals

Working with and through our state associations, NSBA has embraced a number of essential goals, in four major categories:

  1. Advocating for Public Education
    • Expand advocacy efforts in the Congress and federal agencies by further increasing NSBA’s capacity to interact with policymakers and to advance our own proposals.
    • Expand advocacy efforts in the courts, including through a proactive litigation initiative.
    • Expand public advocacy efforts through the “Stand Up 4 Public Schools” campaign and proactive outreach to the news media.
    • Exposing critics of public education through a research-based effort that challenges inaccurate statements and sheds light on how adversary groups are organized and funded.
  2. Leading the Conversation
    • Provide resources and support to ensure equity and access for all students.
    • Redefine “student success” beyond mere performance on standardized tests so the public schools are known to be a place that maximizes students’ potential.
    • Promote the appropriate roles for the federal, state and local levels of governance in public education.
    • Be a thought leader on education issues by engaging interested groups and policymakers in examining and gaining consensus about ways to strengthen public education.
  3. Serving State Associations
    • Identify and deliver needed services to state associations.
    • Strengthen membership ties.
  4. Ensuring Financial Stability
    • Further diversify revenue streams.
    • Systematically build reserves.
    • Implement the Glide Path Plan to address the association’s unfunded pension liability.
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