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School Board Advocacy Group Faces Loss of Funding After Comparing Parent Protests to Domestic Terrorism

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The National School Boards Association is receiving backlash after making a comparison between parent protests and domestic terrorism.

In September, the group asked President Joe Biden, the FBI and Secret Service to protect members facing threats amid debates over the COVID-19 pandemic and critical race theory, as Axios reported.

National School Boards Association president Viola Garcia and interim executive director and CEO Chip Slaven wrote the “classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

They added, “America’s public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat.”

The group also asked the departments of Justice and Homeland Security to “examine appropriate enforceable actions against these crimes and acts of violence.”

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As Axios notes, the group has apologized for the comparison. Still, it is facing a seven-figure loss in annual funding. According to the outlet, at least 17 state affiliates have distanced themselves from the group.

An analysis conducted by Axios of documents detailing contributions from those 17 state affiliates found they accounted for more than 40% of dues paid annually to the group in 2019.

The group’s records show it gets more dues income from school districts. More than 1,200 contributed close to $5.3 million this year alone.

A spokesperson for the group told the outlet the numbers for 2019 “do not reflect the complete or current state of affairs for NSBA.”

Should the group lose funding?

The spokesperson added, “NSBA continues to have the resources we need to be effective on behalf of our members, and we will relentlessly work to advance our mission and continuously improve as an organization.”

According to the report, some state associations are considering creating a new group to compete with the National School Boards Association.

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