SBAE’s name reflects its purpose: to restore academic excellence in America’s schools. It also describes our strategy: harnessing the transformative power of America’s school boards. School Boards for Academic Excellence exists to help school boards dramatically improve academic achievement in the schools they govern.

SBAE is a nonprofit capacity-building organization, and a nationwide network of state-based school board associations and resource centers. SBAE helps America’s school boards improve academic achievement by ensuring that board members in every state have a thriving, academic-focused, state-based school board organization they can turn to for support. SBAE ensures these state-based associations—called SBAE Network Partners—have the resources they need to empower reform-minded school board members. United by the belief that we are stronger together, SBAE facilitates mutual support and knowledge sharing among Network Partners. 

SBAE’s Network Partners are state-based school board associations and resource centers focused on academic achievement in their respective states. Network Partners affiliate with SBAE on a voluntary basis. SBAE does not govern, direct, or manage Network Partners in their organization or actions, and there are no legal, financial, or other rights or obligations between SBAE and our Network Partners.

Organizations affiliate with SBAE as Network Partners for several reasons. The strongest motivation is the shared commitment to prioritizing student achievement. We believe that school boards are uniquely positioned to ensure student success.

Network Partners find many benefits in SBAE membership:

  • Capacity-building. Access to the knowledge and organizational experience of others who are starting, growing, and expanding school board associations to support academic-focused school board members across the country.
  • Analysis. In-depth, targeted analysis of trends and developments in K-12 education, relevant to improving student outcomes.
  • Solutions. The opportunity to share and learn from what is working to strengthen the quality of education in America’s schools.
  • Tools and Resources. Practical, actionable models, policies, and best practices to help Network Partners grow their organizations and maximize their impact.
  • Network Effect. Connect with reform-minded leaders of other school board associations, allied organizations, researchers, commentators, analysts, and other trusted resources to learn and to grow in effectiveness and restore quality education for America’s students.

No two Network Partners are exactly alike. Some have grown out of school board members uniting to support one another, while others were developed by pre-existing state organizations seeking to improve academic achievement. They vary in size, membership model, and strategy, but they all share a goal to empower school board members to promote academic excellence for the students of their districts. 

SBAE Network Partners offer school board members a variety of resources needed to drive meaningful reform and improve academic outcomes in their districts. These may include:

  • Budgeting Tools
  • Model Policies and Reforms
  • Legal Counsel
  • Training
  • Public Relations Support
  • Advocacy
  • Labor Union Relationship Strategies
  • Insurance Help
  • A Broader Network of Board Members United for a Common Purpose

SBAE typically connects Network Partners and school board members with allied organizations that provide training.

No. SBAE is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, unaffiliated with any political party or religious institution. SBAE does not engage in political campaigning or work on behalf of parties, candidates, 501(c)4 organizations, or political action committees (PACs).

SBAE believes elected school board members are the greatest hope for saving American K-12 education and, consequently, the future of America. 

School board members are responsible for the success of a district’s schools and, therefore, the success of every student. The buck stops with them.

However, the education establishment has told school board members for decades to avoid meaningful reform, to defer to self-appointed “experts,” and to let the superintendent run the show.  As a result, academic achievement has cratered, and administrative bloat has skyrocketed.

SBAE believes that school board members should intentionally direct the educational policies and practices in their district’s schools. They can and should take responsibility for academic achievement, demanding student proficiency, rigorous curricula, and transparency with parents.  

SBAE is helping school boards rediscover their authority, as the elected representatives of the community, to ensure every student receives the quality education he or she deserves.

That’s how SBAE is “Empowering School Boards, Elevating Education.”

Individuals & ParentsShare information about SBAE with your local school board members. Join our email list to receive news and updates about this national effort to restore American education, and share it with friends and family. Get involved at the local level, and consider running for school board.
School Board MembersContact SBAE at to connect with a Network Partner school board association in your state. If there is not an existing association, we will work with you to create one. Become an active participant in your state association, passing policies, taking trainings, and spreading the word among your peers.
PolicymakersPartner with SBAE and our Network Partner in your state, to develop policies that will help school boards improve student achievement.
Education ScholarsShare your ideas for improving and strengthening K-12 education with SBAE. Consider lending your expertise to our network as a trainer or volunteer advisor. Help the school board members affiliated with our Network Partners to translate ideas into actionable policies and practices that will drive meaningful change.
Charities and DonorsConsider a tax-deductible gift to SBAE or one of our Network Partners. Stay in touch with the organization and introduce our work to your peers.

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