I am in receipt of documents that show the NC School Boards Association (NCSBA) has organized an Action Center to support their agenda. They are asking School Boards to contribute to that Action Center on a sliding scale. Annual contributions run from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the 2313-14 projected Average Daily Membership.
In April 2013 the NCSBA Board of Directors voted to authorize the creation of the NCSBA Action Center. It is a 501(c)(4) designed to strengthen local school board advocacy efforts. The NC School Boards Association is a 501(c)(3). However that is limited by law in the amount they can spend on advocacy and grass roots activities.
This "action center" will act separately from the regular School Boards Association. The initial Board met in July and elected officers and a proposed budget. It then invoiced member school boards asking for contributions. A copy of the invoice indicates "Amount Due" as in please pay not a request for a voluntary contribution.
This Action Center Board of Directors is made up of 4 members of the current NCSBA Board of Directors. It also has 5 school board members that are not members of the NCSBA Board of Directors. A direct quote as to intentions is:
"NCSBAC will not be empowered to do anything that is not congruent and consistent with NCSBA legislative agenda."
They claim it will not endorse candidates or establish a political action committee. They believe this "Action Center" "will provide the ability to raise additional revenue to engage in social networking efforts, expand our messaging, interact with the media and advocate for NCSBA legislation."
The NCSCA states they are positive this initiative will provide the extra resources to protect promote and defend school board governance and the NCSBA legislative agenda.
They contacted an attorney to see if local contributions to this action center were in violation of the law. Their attorney indicated that the action was legal since the NCSBA had reached its allowed spending limits as a 501(c)(3). Unlike the c-3, Federal law allows the 501(c)(4) (the Action Center) to "engage in unlimited advocacy for policy positions"
They are not considered a PAC since they will not endorse candidates. However, as with PAC's, they will attempt to influence legislation in support for their agenda
So it appears to be legal. However is it moral? Taxpayers already pay dues to the NC School Boards Association through membership of professional organizations paid by the local District. Is it fair for
them to take additional tax dollars to pay an "Action Center" for them to lobby for the NCSBA's agenda? In an age where Districts are complaining about shrinking dollars, expending thousands on political issues to influence the legislature is inappropriate. Instead how about using those funds in the classroom where it would do the most good.
I urge you to contact your school boards and tell them you want to use available funds to improve education in the classroom. Not to influence the agenda of the NCSBA.
William (Bill) Moore was born and raised in Yonkers NY. He became a Social Studies Teacher in Yonkers and eventually an Assistant Principal at the Middle School and High School levels. He was Principal at Roosevelt HS for 5 years in Yonkers before deciding to relocate to Edenton, NC. There he was Principal of John A. Holmes HS for 4 years.
He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Social Studies from Fordham University and Master's Degree from Iona College, majoring in Social Studies. He received his second Master's Degree in School Administration from Manhattan College.
Bill is also a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the US Army Reserve. He is trained as an Armor officer and a Logistician. He served two years active duty in the 4th of the 68th Armor, part of the 82nd Airborne Division. In the Reserves he served as a Field Service Company Commander, Transportation Battalion Commander and numerous staff positions at all levels.
He has received numerous awards including Administrator of the Year in Chowan County. He has had numerous yearbook dedications and was nominated several times as Administrator of the Year in NY. In NY, Roosevelt HS became a Model School for the Smaller Learning Community Initiative from Brown University.
Bill is President of the Edenton Tea Party and a member of the Chowan County Republican Party Executive Committee. He is a current member of the Edenton Planning Board, Chowan County Juvenile Crime Prevention Task Force, and the Northeast Commission.