The Delaware School Boards Association (DSBA) is an IRS registered 501-C-4 tax exempt non-profit education advocacy organization that represents the interests and needs of elected and appointed Delaware public school board members. During the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the DSBA represented 15 of the 19 school boards in Delaware as well as the State Board of Education. Working with and through member school boards, the DSBA advocated for equity and excellence in Delaware public education through school board governance. The core mission of the DSBA has four major aspects:
- Advocacy – The DSBA is the voice of school boards in the Delaware Legislature. The DSBA monitors legislation affecting Delaware public education and advocates the interests and needs of School Boards and their districts to the Legislature.
- Board Member Training – The DSBA offers new board member orientation training as well as board forums on various topics of interest to board members. The DSBA also provides specific training to boards on request.
- Communication and Networking – The DSBA offers a forum for networking among and between board members. The Board of Director’s meetings, Legislative Committee meetings as well as the Board Presidents’ forum meetings offer board members the opportunity to share and gain insights from peers. The DSBA also distributes email notifications regarding current issues and conditions impacting public education at the State and National level.
- Technical Assistance – The DSBA offers technical assistance to Board Members and their districts on a wide range of operational and curricular issues. If the DSBA staff does not have the expertise to assist with a particular issue or concern, we will connect the requestor with experienced and knowledgeable experts. The DSBA also offers a corporate membership program that serves as a “force multiplier” by providing experts in the business community that serve school districts that can be called upon for assistance and advice in their respective fields of expertise.
The financial activity of the DSBA for Fiscal Year 2018 was as follows:
Other receipts and Other expenses include the pass-through of $8,186.00 previously held by the DSBA on behalf of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) North East Region of Executive Directors Association. The previous Executive Director of the DSBA served as the Treasurer of the North East Region. The North East Region voted to close its treasury and donate the balance of $8,186.00 to the NSBA Center for Public Education Research.
Other expenses include the first installment of $20,000.00 to re-pay the DSBA Legal Fund for the loan approved by the Board of Directors in the amount of $36,000 in April 2017 (FY-17). The loan from the Legal Fund was necessary to pay outstanding Board Docs invoices deferred by the previous Executive Director of the DSBA, some of which having been deferred for 2 plus years.
Payroll/Taxes expense includes an IRS 941 payroll tax payment in the amount of $2,994.00 in September 2017 which represented a previous Fiscal Year tax liability payment that was erroneously missed due to the transition to the use of a payroll service (Paychex).
Payroll/Taxes expense includes a State of Delaware payroll tax payment in the amount of $805.00 in May 2018 which represented a previous Fiscal Year tax liability payment that was erroneously missed due to the transition to the use of a payroll service (Paychex).
The DSBA IRS Form 990 was prepared and electronically filed in August 2018 for FY-18 on behalf of the DSBA by the Certified Public Accounting firm Jefferson, Urian, Doane and Sterner (JUDS).
A monthly, detailed Treasurer’s report, reconciled to the DSBA bank statements is provided to and approved by vote of the DSBA Board of Directors on a regular basis. The monthly detailed, reconciled Treasurer’s reports are available on request. The summarized financial data provided above has been derived from those monthly Treasurer’s reports.
The DSBA has been very active during the 149th General Assembly:
- Your DSBA was heavily engaged in the passage of HS-1 to HB-12, the K-3 Basic Special Education Funding bill, which represents $2.8 million that will go directly into special education classrooms as well as $3.5 million that will provide additional classroom level support for low-income K-3 Reading Assistance programs.
- Your DSBA was significantly involved with the HCR-39 School Consolidation Task Force. Specifically, the DSBA authored a list of areas in which districts currently already share services and coordinate efforts, which significantly changed the dialog about the efficiency of public education in Delaware.
- Your DSBA took an early leadership position of opposition to the DOE Proposed Regulation 225, which, coupled with all the other opposition responses, was one of the reasons the State has decided to not move forward with the initiative. The detailed position of opposition is available to be viewed on the DSBA Website www.desba.org.
- Your DSBA supported HB 287 which assured that special education students receive a high school diploma in order that they are better able to compete for employment.
- Your DSBA worked closely with Legislators to amend HB 355 which if not amended, would’ve significantly and adversely impacted the procurement and bidding efforts of school districts.
- Your DSBA was instrumental in orchestrating the elimination of HB 454 from further legislative action, which would have exempted many developments from the current Voluntary School Assessment process, representing a $2.4 million impact on one specific school district and would have significantly impacted every New Castle County school district in the coming years. The DSBA remains engaged in the NCC VSA work group to study and make recommendations for improvements to the VSA process.
- Your DSBA actively opposed and was instrumental in the defeat of SB-18 which would have required schools to start after Labor Day, thus usurping districts’ local authority over their calendars.
- Your DSBA was supportive of, and actively advocated in favor of an approximate $12.0 million increase to student transportation allocations to include driver salary increases.
These are only a few examples in which your DSBA’s legislative advocacy efforts improved education delivery and had a direct impact “in the classroom”. As we look forward to the 150th General Assembly, the DSBA continues to enjoy strong, collaborative relationships with Delaware Association of School Administrators, Delaware State Education Association, The District Chiefs Organization, The District Chief Financial Officers, the Delaware Office of Management and Budget, the Governor’s Office, The Controller General’s Office as well as the Legislature.
Your DSBA is committed to, and will continue to guard the fundamental principle of local authority and management, while we continue to support initiatives that will improve public education.
The DSBA Corporate Sponsor program continues to be robust with over a dozen corporate members and growing. We continue to seek-out corporate sponsors who will add value as a force-multiplier for the DSBA to provide expertise in their respective fields.
The DSBA has offered several board member training opportunities this past year as well as performed multiple, specifically requested and tailored, board training sessions.
We’ve instituted the Board Presidents’ Forums which offer a roundtable setting where board presidents can discuss issues and concerns in a safe peer-to-peer environment.
The DSBA recently conducted our 2018 Board Member Boot Camp with 13 board members in attendance – one of whom was a State Board member. The DSBA is planning a student discipline and SB-85 awareness training program for the fall of 2018.
The DSBA has recently launched the new DSBA website. Check it out www.desba.org.
The Delaware School Boards Association is strong and getting stronger. The DSBA continues to operate under a balanced budget; the expenses do not and will not exceed receipts. The strict budgeting and careful expenditure management assures that the DSBA will remain a positive force in public education in DE for many years into the future.
Your Delaware School Board Association has a long and rich history dating back to 1946 – the organization has existed for over 70 years! Throughout those 70 plus years, the Delaware School Boards Association has navigated countless political, economic, societal, technological and educational changes. The challenges in front of us for the 2018 – 2019 school year are real. As we look forward to a state election cycle which will cause significant changes in both the House and the Senate, the DSBA will no doubt be called upon to provide strong leadership in public education. The Delaware School Boards Association stands ready and willing to provide the State, School Districts and their boards with that strong leadership. It is, therefore, my personal challenge and mission to continue to make the Delaware School Boards Association the premier public-school advocacy organization in Delaware.