April 18, 2022
Members of the Idaho School Boards Association:
On April 10, 2022, in Raleigh, North Carolina, our association, along with 21 other founding school boards associations, signed a resolution to officially form the Consortium of State School Boards Associations (COSSBA).
COSSBA is a voluntary, non-partisan, national alliance of state school boards associations. We believe that the governance of public schools by highly effective, locally accountable public school boards is critical for the advancement and success of public education throughout the United States. COSSBA strives to provide member-focused information that is powered by collaboration and driven by shared commitment, shared resources, and shared responsibility. It is a consortium founded by state school boards associations. We seek to support, promote, and strengthen each other as we serve our local school districts and board members so they can provide excellence in local school board governance resulting in access to high quality educational opportunities for ALL students.
The signing of the resolution was an important step in formalizing the organization. It allows the transitional governing body to move forward with full development of relevant programming and events through shared resources, federal advocacy, and alliance groups. More information about the services and focus of COSSBA can be found on our website at www.cossba.org.
Planning is underway for a full complement of training and networking opportunities including a Spring 2023 inaugural conference, a late summer/early fall 2022 Urban Institute (see more below), an association leadership event in the Winter of 2023 and a Federal Advocacy Conference in August/September 2023. These will provide networking opportunities for school board members and association leaders and will enhance the effectiveness of our work through training, peer-to-peer information sharing, and interactively engaging around the issues that directly impact boards’ ability to govern, set policy, and improve educational outcomes.
As a complement and supplement to the professional development and training offered, COSSBA’s Urban Boards Alliance (UBA) will provide a national program of training, resources, and networking that supports and equips school boards with the requisite knowledge, skills, and experiences to address and improve the educational outcomes of students in challenging environments. The recognition that these environments are not unique to urban school districts, but also impact students in and out of the classroom in rural, urban, and suburban districts, is critical to the success of these students in our schools. COSSBA is planning an inaugural conference of the UBA in late Summer/early Fall 2022 that will help all school boards and governance teams to better understand the issues and share best practices to effectively support and serve all students. Participation in the UBA is included as a benefit of membership in COSSBA.
There is still much work underway that will require the collaboration and talents of each
member association. The willingness of members to share resources and work together to
build and fortify this Consortium has been refreshing as we strive to find common ground and
to build effective coalitions.
The 22 founding state school boards associations of COSSBA recognize that what lies ahead
of us must be met with the understanding that the challenges faced by today’s students are
not bound by geography, race, class, or socioeconomic status. Overcoming these challenges
and empowering our students to excel in any environment requires us to move forward in a
way that is focused and responsive, transparent, and efficient, reflective and relevant,
representative and accountable, and unified. This is the path that we have chosen and the one
that we believe leads to the advancement and success of public school education for students
in the United States.
The next formal update on the progress of COSSBA will be released in early June. As the
Consortium continues to evolve, updates and information about conferences, professional
development events, advocacy, services, and resources, will be added to the website at
Idaho School Boards Association