TSBA Membership Benefits
The mission of the Tennessee School Boards Association is to assist school boards in effectively governing school districts. Through the years, TSBA has helped school boards and their members reach their highest potential through association programs, meetings and services. TSBA also provides school board members a collective voice in matters of legislation and public education concerns.
In 1953, the Tennessee legislature officially recognized TSBA as "the organization and representative agency of the members of school boards of Tennessee" and authorized TSBA to provide services through membership dues paid by school boards.
All services of TSBA are designed to help school boards and their members to better serve the children in their school system.
What do you receive for your TSBA dues?
Other Benefits Provided on a Fee Basis
How are Membership Dues Calculated?
The annual membership dues for each board of education consist of a basic fee of $600 plus a graduated fee based upon current expenditures of the school district (not including capital outlay).
The graduated portion is determined by multiplying the current expenditures of the district (from the most recent Annual Statistical Report) by a factor of .000225 for the first $20,000,000 and a factor of .00006 for the next $50,000,000 and .000005 for amounts above $70,000,000.
What do you receive for your TSBA dues?
TSBA keeps a constant watch over all legislation and State Board of Education Rules and Regulations affecting local school districts. The staff works with members of the General Assembly, state officials and education-related organizations in developing state policy that ensures local control to better serve students and communities. Following are some examples of how TSBA represents its members in the legislature:
- TSBA sponsored legislation to enact the Professional Educators Collaborative Conferencing Act (PECCA) to ensure that local boards had the ability to ultimately make the best decisions for their respective students, teachers, and school districts.
- TSBA worked alongside key legislators and education stakeholders to ensure the passage of BEP 2.0 which was a major step in providing the needed fairness and resources through the state's funding formula.
- TSBA worked alongside the Governor and legislators in designing and supporting the Race to the Top efforts of the 2010 Extraordinary Session.
- TSBA has a representative on the BEP Review Committee which considers revisions to the state's pre-K-12 finding formula and makes recommendations to the General Assembly.
- TSBA worked for many years to gain authority for school boards to appoint superintendents. TSBA continues to work each year to ensure authority remains with the local school boards.
- TSBA was responsible for the legislative provision that provides school board members a $75 per day stipend for attending their statutorily required training sessions.
- TSBA was successful in securing health insurance options for those school board members interested in joining the state insurance plan.
- TSBA works to preserve the boards' policy-making authority, provide instant tenure to teachers, and expand the scope of collective bargaining.
- TSBA worked tirelessly to pass permissive legislation to authorize local school boards to implement policies for the random drug testing of students in voluntary extracurricular activities.
- TSBA works to preserve local board authority on the conversion of existing public schools to charter schools.
- TSBA works to defend school board authority from efforts by local legislative bodies to gain more control over school system finances and operations.
- TSBA continues to work with Congress and the Tennessee General Assembly in making common sense changes to No Child Left Behind and the state's accountability system.
In addition to serving as an advocate for local school boards of education on Capitol Hill, the Government Relations Department provides members with current and relevant legislative information. The TLN Notes, a legislative newsletter, is published weekly during the legislative session. This update provides information and legislative advocacy direction to TSBA members. TSBA has also set up a Twitter account to provide members with up-to-the-minute alerts and updates as actions occur in Nashville. School board members can access twitter.com and sign up to receive instant messages from Capitol Hill on their cell phones. Also, TSBA produces The Legislative Scoop providing an annual wrap-up of legislation that passed pertaining to pre-K-12 education.
TSBA's state legislative efforts are supported by the Tennessee Legislative Network (TLN), which consists of the Tennessee Legislative Action Committee (TLAC) and a TLN representative from each local board of education in the state. TLAC consists of one representative from each of the state’s nine developmental districts appointed by the TSBA President and confirmed by the TSBA Board of Directors. The committee members serve as contacts for the local school board members of their respective districts on the actions and schedules of the General Assembly.
TSBA's federal legislative efforts are supported by the Federal Relations Network, or FRN. The FRN was established by the National School Boards Association and consists of board members from each congressional district. Each year, TSBA takes part in the NSBA Federal Relations Network Conference where Tennessee school board members visit the nation's Capital to meet with the Senators and Congressmen to discuss the needs of local school systems.
TSBA has an experienced school law attorney on staff to provide board members, superintendents and other school administrators with legal opinions and interpretations of statutes, rules and policies. The legal department maintains a complete, up-to-date library of attorney general opinions, federal and state statutes and court decisions affecting the public schools of Tennessee, plus an extensive collection of other school law resources. TSBA's legal department presents a School Board Academy School Law module three times a year, which school board members may choose as an elective to satisfy their annual academy requirement. There is no charge to the participating school board member. In fact, each board member receives a $75 stipend for participating.
The TSBA Policy Department provides boards with consistent, effective and timely policy statements. The TSBA Policy Service is a member of the American Association of State Policy Services, which provides access to a wide variety of policy information from other states. The policy department provides the following to member boards, upon request:
- Model policies addressing a wide range of topics from recent legislative and state regulation changes to court decisions;
- Consultations by telephone, email, mail or fax for assistance in the development and revision of individual school system policies;
- Extensive research files are maintained with sample policies from boards in Tennessee as well as samples from other states. These are faxed or mailed to boards for reference when they are developing policy; and
- Assistance in writing new policies as well as review of policies for educational soundness and legal implications.
Communications Services/Monthly Publications
TSBA's communications department keeps members informed about the latest trends in education, on both a state and national level, with its publications. The Journal, a quarterly magazine, and BoardTalk, a weekly e-newsletter, keep Tennessee board members up to date on what's happening with other school boards across the state, as well as what's going on with education funding and other national issues.
A wealth of valuable information is housed on TSBA's Web site. Board members can find information about and register for upcoming meetings and school board academies, get the latest on what's happening "On the Hill" in the Capitol Watch section, or ask the TSBA attorney a legal question.
In addition, the department produces training materials for school board members, distributes press releases when board members attend TSBA events, and works with school system public relations personnel to help create a better understanding of public education.
TSBA's communications department oversees the Ambassador for Education Program, a grassroots advocacy effort that builds greater public confidence in our schools and better educates the public about public education. This community outreach effort provides an opportunity for school board members in Tennessee to increase public awareness and understanding of current public education issues facing our communities, state and nation through speaking engagements to local Chambers of Commerce, Rotaries, parent-teacher groups, churches and other organizations. Ambassadors also get their message out via the local media, through television talk shows, community radio programs and meetings with newspaper editorial boards.
TSBA offers an Employer Commendation Program which recognizes those organizations that make a special point of encouraging and supporting employees who serve on school boards.
TSBA Provides Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance coverage to all school board members that are members of TSBA. Every school board member is insured for $100,000 Accidental Death Coverage while on a "Business Trip".
TSBA promotes school boards and their members and seeks recognition of them. TSBA offers the following recognition programs: Boardsmanship Award Program; Scholars’ Circle; Board of Distinction; School Board of the Year; Tennessee School Board Member of the Year/C. Hal Henard Distinguished Service Award; All Tennessee School Board; Award for Excellence in Educational Programs; and School of the Year. For a description of each of these award programs, click on "Awards" on our Web site.
TSBA also promotes School Board Week each year by obtaining a declaration from the governor and preparing and distributing promotional materials.
Board Evaluation Services
The Board Evaluation Service will be provided by a TSBA consultant. The consultant will provide an evaluation instrument to be completed by each board member; tabulate the final results and develop a summary of comments; report the results of the evaluation at a retreat; and conduct a team building session to identify areas in which the board excels and areas needing improvement.
Other Benefits Provided on a Fee Basis
For school boards striving to increase their effectiveness as a corporate board, TSBA conducts board retreats. Each school board should participate in an annual retreat, which includes time for planning, self-assessment and board development activities
TSBA members can take advantage of the opportunity to consult with TSBA legal staff on a variety of issues dealing with the application of school law in their districts.
For a nominal fee, TSBA's staff attorney is available to provide limited on-site legal assistance to member school boards. Members also enjoy discounted rates for the Tennessee School Law Quarterly (SLQ), a quarterly publication summarizing recent attorney general opinions and cases affecting public schools, and the Summer Law Institute, an annual two-day seminar focusing on hot topics in school law.
Meetings and Workshops
TSBA conducts the following annual events for its members at a minimum registration fee: For a complete description of each meeting click on "Meetings" on our Web site.
- Day on the Hill (February)
- Student Congress on Policies in Education (March)
- Employment Law Seminar (March)
- School Facilities Workshop (April)
- Board Secretaries' Conference (May)
- Summer Law Institute (June and July)
- Policy Update Workshop (August)
- Fall District Meetings (September)
- New Board Chairman Workshop (October)
- Leadership Conference (November)
- Legal Workshop (November)
- Power through Policy Workshop (November)
- Annual Convention (November)
The Superintendent Evaluation Service will be provided by a TSBA consultant on a cost basis. The consultant will assist the board in designing a performance evaluation instrument. The consultant will distribute the evaluation instruments to each board member and collect, compile and analyze the results. A written report of the evaluations will be presented to the board and superintendent.
Local boards of education may choose a Superintendent Search Service consisting of a complete search or one that has been customized to fit the needs of the particular board. Through this service, all or any portion of the process of finding candidates for a school system's superintendent position will be provided by a TSBA consultant on a cost basis. The consultant does not participate in the selection process but will be available to advise on how to proceed with an offer, as well as the features of an employment contract.
The Superintendent Search Service handles all of the legwork associated with the search so that the board can concentrate on the most critical steps in the search-setting the criteria, interviewing the most qualified candidates and selecting the next superintendent of schools. Services include: identifying board priorities for a new superintendent; conducting a needs assessment with system employees and the community; vacancy notification; screening candidates and reference checking.
Customized Policy Services
The TSBA Policy Department maintains the TSBA Legal Reference Manual, a guide to State and Federal laws and regulations that impact Tennessee public school systems. The Customized Policy Service provides custom-tailored school board policy manuals. The Policy Maintenance Service is an updating service offered to school systems that have brought their manual into compliance with current law. The TSBA On-line Service encompasses the maintenance service and provides searchable board policies on the board Web site with links to TSBA's Legal Reference Manual.
eMeeting is an online program that can create meeting documents such as agendas and supporting information and then post those documents online so they are accessible to board members and the general public. eMeeting eliminates the need for printing, copying and mailing board meeting packets.
GASB 45 Trust
TSBA has created a GASB 45 Trust compliant trust to help those systems wishing to pre-fund their liability. TSBA has partnered with Willis, a leading financial advisory group, to provide the actuarial service required by GASB 45 at a competitive price.