Connect with us

Published

on

Anational education group that implied some parental activism is tantamount to “domestic terrorism” owes nearly $20 million to the IRS, according to tax forms reviewed by Just the News.

Most of that comes from “accrued pension liability,” as disclosed by the National School Boards Association’s 2017 and 2018 Form 990 filings. Unlike those two, the 2019 form — the most recently filed — does not include an itemized list under the federal income taxes subheading for “other liabilities.” 

Its liabilities have exceeded its assets by around two to one in recent years, and up to seven to one in the first half of the 2010s, according to rundowns by ProPublica

Just the News couldn’t find any IRS action seeking recovery of that money. The only federal legal action against NSBA in its own jurisdiction was an employee lawsuit alleging racial discrimination, which a judge dismissed about a year ago.

NSBA director of communications Jason Amos noted it’s a tax-exempt nonprofit but didn’t respond when told the liabilities are listed on its own federal tax forms.

The financial problems exacerbate the revolt NSBA is facing from at least 21 state members after it asked President Biden to use the Patriot Act in response to “the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation” against school board members, citing both physical altercations and heated rhetoric at public meetings.

Its board of directors issued a memo to members Friday saying “we regret and apologize for the letter … there was no justification for some of the language” NSBA used. “[T]he voices of parents … should and must continue to be heard” when it comes to decisions about their children’s education, health, and safety.”

The board said it failed to properly consult members, which caused them “strain and stress,” and promised to launch a “formal review” and announce “specific improvements soon” on consultation and coordination.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Merrick Garland, who promised to get the feds involved in local school disputes following the Sept. 29 NSBA letter, pushed back against claims that he was siccing the FBI on parents at a hearing Thursday.

“The Justice Department supports and defends the First Amendment right of parents to complain as vociferously as they wish about the education of their children, about the curriculum taught in the schools,” Garland told the House Judiciary Committee

So far only the Pennsylvania affiliate has publicly quit NSBA, but the Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana and Ohio affiliates said they were reevaluating membership for myriad reasons, according to their responses to Parents Defending Education, a grassroots organization working to resist political indoctrination in classrooms.

Florida and Louisiana said they didn’t pay membership dues for this school year, which were due in July. And Florida said it would continue to withhold “until further notice.” Alabama’s letter to local members said “at least a dozen states” are trying to make “essential changes” to NSBA governance and policy.

Montana School Boards Association Executive Director Lance Melton told Just the News Friday, hours before NSBA’s reversal, that his group might have withheld dues if the letter had been sent earlier in the year.

“NSBA kind of went against the collective wisdom of its membership” and now must retract and apologize for the letter as “the first step” to reconciliation with its members, he said in a phone interview. “Right now we need unity.”

Melton, Delaware School Boards Association Executive Director John Marinucci and Georgia School Boards Association spokesperson Justin Pauly all told Just the News they weren’t aware of NSBA’s tax problems.

While the most important figure is how much it costs to service that debt, Melton said, “I can’t even fathom” how the national organization owes so much. Clearly “there were warning signs.”

The Rhode Island Association of School Committees (RIASC) is also facing a potential revolt from members for promising to cooperate with Garland to “potentially adversely engage with our constituents.”

The Glocester School Committee unanimously approved a resolution to withhold dues “until further notice.” It also cites RIASC’s endorsement of a political candidate and request to Gov. Dan McKee to impose a school mask mandate.

Other school committees can now consider that resolution. Coventry School Committee chair Katherine Patenaude told Just the News it will be discussed at its Oct. 28 meeting. Bristol Warren Regional School Committee chair Marjorie McBride said she hadn’t seen the resolution.

‘Underwhelmed’

Among state affiliates that responded to Parents Defending Education about their potential involvement in the NSBA letter, only Delaware has confirmed to Just the News that it “[c]urrently” has “NO plans to withdraw” from the national group.

“We also have received NO threats from member districts to withhold their dues to the DSBA,” Marinucci wrote in an email. “The DSBA seeks to remain apolitical in our advocacy and actions.” 

While Montana’s Melton doesn’t think the NSBA was trying to apply the “generic label” of domestic terrorism to all heated criticism at school board meetings, he said the national group can’t be surprised that it metaphorically set a fire by throwing a match in gasoline.

“I was underwhelmed” by NSBA’s examples of supposed criminal activity requiring a federal response, he said. One of them turned out to be a Loudoun County, Virginia father who was arrested at a school board meeting after complaining his daughter was raped in a school bathroom by a gender-fluid boy.

Even if “every one of them were valid and justified the involvement of the FBI, it would not merit being spoken on behalf of 90,000 trustees” of school districts, Melton said.

The NSBA’s claim to Biden that it spoke “[o]n behalf of our state associations” drew rebukes even from members who have suggested no action beyond their disapproving words. A handful responded to Just the News queries on whether they have further deliberated on their membership.

“This is a rapidly evolving matter,” Indiana School Boards Association Executive Director Terry Spradlin wrote in an email Thursday, saying his group was waiting for “a possible retraction” from the NSBA board.

“GSBA is evaluating what is in the best interest of our membership in Georgia,” spokesperson Pauly wrote in an email. “There are many options to consider.”

Kentucky School Boards Association Communications Director Joshua Shoulta said the “situation is still very new and fluid, so KSBA and our board are still assessing.”

Noting the agenda isn’t set for its scheduled board meeting in December, he said, “We continue to have conversations with our members, and we’re closely monitoring what is happening in other states.”

“Like many other state school board associations, we have already expressed our concerns to the NSBA on how the letter was developed and issued,” Texas Association of School Boards Senior Communications Consultant Theresa Gage wrote.

Her group believes “localized threats of violence are best handled by local law enforcement, and that first amendment rights are paramount to strong communities and local governance.”

Advertisement

Education

Virginia Elementary School Threatens to Charge Maskless Students With Trespassing

Published

on

An elementary school in Loudoun Country, Virginia has announced that if students show up to school maskless, they will be charged with trespassing.

The Assistant Principal of the elementary school was recorded telling parents via phone call that, if their child was to be on school property without a mask, they would be charged with trespassing.

In Virginia, trespassing is a Class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. This is the penalty being faced by elementary school students.

“Until you arrive your children will be held in an in-school restriction situation here at school,” the Assistant Principal told the parent. “It is important that I point out to you – it’s stated in the letter that you’ll receive – but, it’s important that I point out to you that they are not allowed on campus or on Loudoun County Public School property. Starting tomorrow it will be considered trespassing.”

Listen to the full audio below:

In the same county, the students are being held in auditoriums, gyms, and offices alone for not wearing masks to school. One brave high school student, Nicholas Sanchez, reportedly spent the majority of his week alone in an auditorium.

Sanchez defended his position on the masks but ultimately explained that he would be giving in to the mask requirements so he can continue to get an education.

“Growing up, I was raised to have integrity and to be honest and to do what I believe is right,” said Sanchez. “I did what I could from a student’s perspective. Keeping my educational interests in mind, I think I will go ahead and put on the mask – the face decoration on my face and get my education.”

Another family in Loudoun County, the Platts, reported that their sons’ elementary school warned them that their children will be physically removed from the property if they don’t put on a mask.

“As a family, we will discuss that because these kids take that pressure differently especially the little one,” said the father of the Platt family. “We just want to make sure they aren’t impacted.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Education

High School Biology Class Tells Students to Eliminate “Gendered Terms” From Their Vocabulary… Parents Accuse School of Teaching Pseudoscience

Published

on

At a high school in Massachusetts, students are being taught that it is offensive to use “gendered terms”, and that humans should be viewed in the same way as a clownfish or a species of tree frog, which can both change sex.

Some presentation slides from the school’s biology class were obtained by a parent activist group, Parents Defending Education. They revealed an entire presentation on gender fluidity, the minute population of intersex, and how gender identity is “your psychological sense of self”.

The slides that define sex, gender, gender expression, and attraction are infused with opinion-based, progressive ideologies that serve to further a personal agenda rather than teach students factual science.

Slideshow defining gender as one’s “psychological sense of self”

Eliminating “gendered terms,” according to one of the presentation slides, ensures that “people with diverse (a)sexualities, (a)genders, bodies, and (a)romantic orientations are included and respected.” Discussing biological sex in terms of men and women “marginalizes” those born with both male and female genitalia, “who have been persistently discriminated against.”

Intersex, a rare genetic condition that results in the affected person having both male and female physical characteristics, is present in about 0.018% of the population. However, the parent activist group found that the teacher was falsely claiming that 2% of the population is intersex and that they should be properly accommodated in everyone’s daily speech habits.

“Needham High School promised a science class and instead delivered a pseudoscience class,” said the director of outreach for Parents Defending Education, Erika Sanzi. “The slides shared by the biology teacher are harmful and wrong because they are factually inaccurate, sow confusion, and rely heavily on regressive sex stereotypes. Perhaps most absurd is the implication that biological sex in humans is fluid, or can literally change, because it happens to be true of non-human species like clownfish and tree frogs.”

The biology class at this high school is working hard to push other people’s beliefs onto these children. Telling students they must erase gendered terms from their vocabulary is no business of a high school biology teacher. This doesn’t fall into the “science” category, but instead falls into the woke Liberal agenda.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Education

Arizona Sues Biden Admin After They Threaten State Over Funding for Schools Without Mask Mandates

Published

on

President Joe Biden’s Treasury Department wants COVID-19 funding back from Arizona because the state is sending money to districts that don’t have mask mandates — and the state’s Republican governor is taking them to court over it.

According to The Arizona Republic, Gov. Doug Ducey filed a lawsuit against the administration on Friday, alleging it was trying to “bully Arizona” into adopting Democrat-endorsed COVID policies by threatening to withhold or claw back money allocated under the American Rescue Plan.

The Biden administration using the power of the purse to punish states over masking in schools is a new low in the social tug-of-war over COVID policy, particularly since there’s little demonstrated benefit to the policies and considerable psychological costs. (Here at The Western Journal, we’ve been making readers aware of these facts since the beginning of the pandemic. You can help us continue to bring readers the truth by subscribing.)

In a Jan. 14 letter, the Treasury Department said Arizona’s $163 million Education Plus-Up Grant Program and its COVID-19 Educational Recovery Benefit Program undermined Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on reducing COVID transmission, according to The Hill.

The former program only funnels funds to schools without mask mandates, while the Educational Recovery Benefit Program provides up to $7,000-a-student payouts to parents whose children are in schools that have imposed “unnecessary closures and school mandates.”

Stop the censors, sign up to get today’s top stories delivered right to your inbox

The Treasury Department said in the letter that the funds allocated to Arizona under the American Rescue Plan were intended “to mitigate the fiscal effects stemming from the COVID-19 public health emergency, including by supporting efforts to stop the spread of the virus” and that the money must be used for programs that, in the administration’s view, don’t undermine efforts to prevent COVID transmission.

The Treasury Department gave Arizona 60 days to come into compliance and redirect the funds, warning that if they didn’t do so, they’d try to claw back the money and withhold further aid.

Ducey blasted the move on Twitter, calling it “the latest example of a President that is completely out of touch with the American people” and saying the administration was “attempting to rewrite rules around public dollars that will result in LESS funding to schools and kids — particularly in low-income communities.”

“When it comes to education, President Biden wants to continue focusing on masks. In Arizona, we’re going to focus on math and getting kids caught up after a year of learning loss,” Ducey said. “We will respond to this letter, and we will continue to focus on things that matter to Arizonans.”

That response came Friday, when Arizona filed suit against the Biden administration over the threat to revoke funding.

“Treasury’s actions far exceed the statutory authority granted to it under” the American Rescue Plan Act, the lawsuit read, according to The Hill.

The lawsuit states Ducey used money from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, or SLFRF, “to create two grant programs that addressed the long-term, negative economic impacts on disadvantaged communities from school closures and overbearing mask mandates. The programs empower parents and students to exercise their freedom to make informed decisions regarding their health and educational needs.”

Furthermore, the Treasury Department had previously noted states had, to quote their own guidance, “broad latitude to choose whether and how to use the [SLFRF funds] to respond to and address the negative economic impact” caused by COVID-19.

Ducey’s lawsuit said, “Treasury arbitrarily changed its guidance, and through a clear abuse of discretion, is seeking to unilaterally amend [the American Rescue Plan] by adding new health conditions on how SLFRF monies may be used.

“In particular, and even though Treasury has no background expertise in public health, Treasury recently issued a Final Rule that purports to prohibit SLFRF monies from being used in a manner that, in the subjective and ill-informed opinion of Treasury, would undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Furthermore, even if the Treasury were in a position to make bad public health judgments, the American Rescue Plan doesn’t authorize that, the suit alleges: “Nothing in that underlying statute authorizes Treasury to condition the use of SLFRF monies on following measures that, in the view of Treasury, stop the spread of COVID-19.”

“If Congress had truly intended to give Treasury the power to dictate public health edicts to the States, and recoup or withhold SLFRF monies based on an alleged lack of compliance with such edicts, it would have spoken clearly on the matter. It did not.”

Ducey, meanwhile, said in a statement that, “The Biden administration is attempting to hold congressionally-appropriated funds hostage and is trying to bully Arizona into complying with this power-grabbing move.”

A Treasury Department spokeswoman said the administration “believes the rule is correct and allowed by the statute and Constitution,” setting up a battle in court, according to The New York Times.

No matter how that ends legally, it’ll put the Biden administration in the uncomfortable position of defending policies that don’t “follow the science,” to use an execrable idiom.

Masking in schools hasn’t proved efficacious, no matter what the administration chooses to believe.

Meanwhile, school closures and mask-wearing have proved to be detrimental to both learning and mental health.

Gov. Ducey introduced two programs to combat it — and, because it doesn’t follow the administration’s dogmatic views regarding COVID, they want to take money away from Arizona. If this doesn’t tell you the battle is about politics and not public health, I don’t know what will.

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending

Trending

Back