MSBA Board approves governance changes

    The MSBA Board of Directors approved a plan at its January 19 meeting in Columbia that would alter the association’s governance structure with the goal of increasing member engagement. The proposal includes reducing the size of the Board of Directors from its current 43 members to 25 members. The new Board of Directors would be comprised of 17 regionally elected directors, four statewide officers and representatives from the Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield School Districts as well as a representative from K-8 districts. There would be three standing committees: School Governance, Advocacy and Member Resources. A representative from each of MSBA’s 17 regions would serve on each committee.

    Under the proposal, a Regional Action Committee would be established for each of MSBA’s 17 regions made up of the delegate from each member-district plus a Regional Executive Committee that will provide guidance to the RAC. The Regional Executive Committee would be made up of a Regional Chair, a member of the MSBA Board of Directors from the region, a School Governance Representative, an Advocacy Representative, and a Member Resources Representative. The Regional Executive Committee will be supported by a Field Service Liaison, a part-time MSBA staff position. Under this structure the Regional Chair and the Board of Directors member will be elected by the region and all other members of the Regional Executive Committee will be appointed by the Regional Chair.

    “The goal of this new structure is to focus the MSBA Board of Directors on governance issues for the association while mobilizing members in each region to engage in grassroots advocacy for state education policy and enhancing networking opportunities for members related to the issues facing our public schools,” said MSBA President Gerry Lee, a school board member from the Springfield Public Schools. The proposal is the result of months of work by the Governance Task Force appointed by the Board of Directors last year. The entire plan will be proposed to the Delegate Assembly meeting in June.

    In addition to the proposed governance changes, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the Dues Task Force to increase membership dues by five percent each year for the next three fiscal years beginning this July 1. MSBA has not increased dues since 1996 while health care and all other costs for the association have increased during that period. MSBA has not provided staff salary increases for the past four years and has been unable to maintain cash reserves. 

   “The MSBA Board strongly believes the governance restructuring and the dues increase are absolutely necessary to strengthen the impact of our association,” Lee said.