What Is ISBA?
ISBA currently has membership of 288 Indiana public school corporations.
As the voice of over 1,689 Indiana school board members, the Indiana School Boards Association is proud to be of service. ISBA represents community leaders who are entrusted with instructing and molding the kindergarten through 12th grade population of the state. The mission: to assist local school boards in their respective governance roles through education, services, information, and legislative advocacy, ensuring the opportunity for the highest quality public education for all children.
Looking back to the Association’s beginning, it is easy to see the program has continuously changed as the problems and the needs of local school boards have changed. In 1949, the Indiana School Boards Association was officially organized. Prior to 1949, the ISBA was defined as an ineffective and harmless “Ladies’ Aid Society,” where the board members attended one annual dinner at which time they were to be seen and not heard.
Gradually the ISBA added new members, increased its budget and expanded its services. Since 1949, the ISBA has grown from just one executive director to seven professional and three support staff members.
The ISBA Executive Director and staff function in much the same manner as the superintendent of schools and staff. This structure allows the ISBA to act as a center for the collection and dissemination of information that pertains to the work of Indiana school boards. The ISBA staff strives to assist local school boards and their administrators by providing necessary information and assistance so the ISBA members can perform their tasks more efficiently.
Located in Indianapolis, ISBA is a non-profit organization. Its services range from legal advice; to school finance; to school board member seminars; to collective bargaining issues; and to legislative lobbyists working to impact state education laws and regulations. The ISBA staff also produces more than a dozen publications annually relevant to the needs of Indiana school board members. All ISBA staff members are available to aid local boards of education at any time with specific problems by telephone, mail, e-mail or “face-to-face” communication.
ISBA is governed by a Delegate Assembly and a 14-member Board of Directors consisting of ten directors and four officers; all locally elected/appointed school board members are selected by their fellow board members to fill these posts.
Working closely with the National School Boards Association in Washington, D.C., as well as dozens of other education organizations and governmental authorities throughout the state, the Indiana School Boards Association has earned the distinction of an acknowledged position as a leader in shaping educational programs helping to prepare students for the increasingly competitive future.
Associations of local school boards in the various states have attacked the problems of American education with vigor and have steadily improved their effectiveness.
The major purposes of the Association, as stated in the ISBA Constitution, are six fold:
1. conduct seminars for school board members on educational policies, practices and programs;
2. study educational problems as they affect all citizens of Indiana;
3. inform school board members and the general public of the results of studies made by the Association;
4. provide the General Assembly of the State of Indiana and other government bodies with pertinent information relative to legislation affecting education;
5. participate in informational meetings and programs with public officials, school administrators, teachers, students of education and government, interested individuals and organizations in order to advance the cause of public school education in Indiana; and,
6. engage in other selected activities related to its purpose.