NSBA Statement on the 2015 State of the Union Speech

January 20, 2015

Statement of the National School Boards Association

Alexandria, Va. (Jan. 20, 2015) - The National School Boards Association, the leading advocate for public education, shares the president’s sentiment expressed in the State of the Union address to "prepare our kids for a more competitive world."

We are pleased the president reports that "today, our younger students have earned the highest math and reading scores on record," and that "Our high school graduation rate has hit an all-time high." 

Our persistent and successful focus on E-Rate - which the president aptly describes as free and open Internet for "every classroom, in every community," will modernize teaching and learning and lead to better education outcomes.

We also join the president in his concern over the need to continue to ensure the safety and privacy of our 50 million school children. As states across the country rapidly adopt their own requirements for student data privacy, the National School Boards Association supports the timely efforts of America’s school districts to protect the privacy of students and families who entrust public schools with their child’s personally identifiable information.

"As emerging concepts and evolving law impact the topic of student data privacy, it is vital for school districts and communities to take part in state and national conversations as proposed laws and policies take shape," said Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director, National School Boards Association. "With more than 100 bills introduced in state legislatures in 2014, it is essential that school boards, state school board associations, administrators, and school attorneys help strike an effective balance between promoting student achievement and protecting student privacy."

NSBA looks forward to joining the president and Congress in a conversation about "protecting our children's information" while safeguarding school districts’ efforts to promote student achievement and make informed governance decisions based on student data.

NSBA recently lent its support to the Student Privacy Pledge, industry-developed guidelines that call upon vendors to honor students’ privacy.

In his closing remarks, the president defines the power and purpose of public education in his call to action that it is essential for our nation's actions to tell "every child, in every neighborhood ... (that) your life matters."

NSBA leaders are available for comment or interview

  • Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director
  • Michael C. Zola, Associate Executive Director, Federal Advocacy & Public Policy
  • Francisco M. Negrón, Associate Executive Director & General Counsel, Legal Advocacy & Office of General Counsel

Interviews may be arranged through Linda Embrey,, or 703-838-6737
Communications Office, National School Boards Association

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The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is the leading advocate for public education and supports equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. NSBA represents state school boards associations and their more than 90,000 local school board members throughout the U.S.

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