'Focus on the issue at hand': How a leader representing school boards has handled a pandemic transition
January 8, 2021
When the coronavirus crisis closed campuses in the spring, school boards across the country found themselves faced with decisions they never anticipated making: how to move schools online overnight, how to engage with children without computers or reliable internet, how to reopen buildings and ensure social distancing in once-cramped classrooms, and how to pay for the technology that schooling in the age of COVID-19 demands.
As boards mulled these weighty questions, the national organization representing them got a new leader: Anna Maria Chávez, a former Girl Scouts CEO. She became the chief executive of the National School Boards Association, which lobbies on behalf of school boards representing 13,000 districts, in June.
The association has been pushing for additional coronavirus relief, more federal funding for special education, and a pathway to citizenship for immigrant students. And amid a pandemic that brought educational disparities into sharp relief, NSBA is calling for the creation of a presidential task force on equity in education and for Dr. Jill Biden, a veteran educator and the next first lady, to lead it.