• Swamp Watch

Advocate for Students, or Front for Left-Wing Causes? Inside the Louisiana School Boards Association

Updated: May 19

Check out our last blog, reporting on the taxpayer funded lobbying activities of the Louisiana School Boards Association, here.

The Louisiana School Boards Association publicly claims its mission as “Leadership, Service, and Support for School Boards.” In a state that consistently ranks near the bottom nationally in K-12 educational outcomes, an organization dedicated to such a mission sounds much needed. After all, their main goal must be supporting school boards to improve educational outcomes, right?

At Louisiana Swamp Watch, our goal is to get to the bottom of why Louisiana seems to never be able to move up from the bottom in so many categories and educate the public on the special interests that fight for the status quo. That led us to take a closer look at the Louisiana School Boards Association, and what exactly “leadership, service, and support for school boards” means.

To get a better sense of LSBA’s mission, we looked into IRS filings to see what exactly the tax-exempt mission of LSBA was. Ever since 2008, the LSBA explicitly states in its IRS filings that it is “dedicated to the premise that all citizens must receive the finest education possible, the association has sponsored progressive school legislation”. In a state where our education system ranks 48/50, we’d hope that supporting our school boards would mean a focus on quality educational outcomes, not advancing progressive causes.

As the Louisiana Legislature is in the midst of an unprecedented veto-override session, largely driven by the issue of protecting women’s sports, the LSBA as recently as two weeks ago was pushing the National School Boards Association’s “Transgender Students in Schools” guide. This 24-page guide addresses issues including proper usage of pronouns, ensuring school records accurately reflect a student’s gender identity, bathroom usage for transgender students, among other issues. Interestingly, the guide, on page 16 of the Frequently Asked Questions, recommends schools not inform parents if a transgender student will be sharing a room with their child on an overnight trip.

Most relevant to the current debate in Louisiana, this guide published recently on the LSBA website has this to say about allowing biological males to compete in female sports:

“Ideally A Transgender Student Should Have The Same Opportunities To Participate As Non-Transgender Students” And In “Those Sports Not Governed By The State’s Athletic Association, A Transgender Student Should, In General, Be Permitted To Participate In Those Activities For The Sex That Is Consistent With The Student’s Gender Identity.” “For school activities like physical education and same sex curricular activities (i.e., sex-segregated reading or mathematics classes), ideally a transgender student should have the same opportunities to participate as non-transgender students, although a school board’s determination whether a transgender student should be permitted to participate in the activities aligned with the student’s gender identity must carefully consider social, community and legal issues related to privacy, safety, and constitutional protections. In those sports not governed by the state’s athletic association, a transgender student should, in general, be permitted to participate in those activities for the sex that is consistent with the student’s gender identity at school.

Again, considering Louisiana’s dismal educational outcomes, one would expect the Louisiana School Boards Association to be more concerned with actually improving student outcomes, not “advancing progressive school legislation” or encouraging schools to allow biological males to participate in female sports and share rooms on overnight trips with female students. As we covered in our first blog, it is important to keep in mind this is a largely taxpayer funded organization.

Interestingly, shortly after we accessed the “Transgender Students in Schools” guide on the LSBA website on July 9, it was removed. It seems as if the LSBA doesn’t want the citizens of Louisiana knowing about their advocacy for leftist social policies. Fortunately, we’ve attached cached images of the LSBA website from June 14th, under the “Federal Resources” page, showing their link to the “Transgender Students in Schools” document.

Over the next several months, we will continue to educate you on the special interests fighting to protect the status quo and keep Louisiana last. We hope that by shining a light on corruption and conflicts of interest, we can finally break free from the stranglehold of special interests. If you've enjoyed our content, please consider signing up here. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.