Family Policy Foundation (FPF) announced the launch of the School Board Academy, “the first national training program for pro-family school board members that will be taught from a biblical worldview.”
The organization explained that with the COVID-19 lockdowns, parents saw more of what was happening in public schools – and grew disturbed by what they saw. This led to a national focus on schools and school boards.
FPF said parents grew more aware of issues such as “concerning curriculum and ideology in their children’s classrooms,” “boys playing on girls’ sports teams,” and “students being encouraged to ‘socially transition’ their gender without parental knowledge.”
The organization said, “We’ve heard from anguished parents and grandparents from across the country – and even school board members themselves – all asking for help. And we’ve listened!”
The Daily Citizen contacted FPF Vice President of Education Amanda Banks, who directs the academy. She told us more about why the group launched the new educational program:
Bottom line: The outreach, questions and concerns from parents and concerned citizens led us to the conclusion that we could be part of the solution.
Drawing on our experience training state legislators through the Statesmen Academy and our broad alliance work with national thought and policy leaders, we developed the School Board Academy to bring the best training and resources available to pro-family school board members.
The Statesman Academy is an FPF initiative that has trained nearly 150 men and women for the past six years, “seeding the political system with well-trained Christian, pro-family legislators who will lead their states and our nation with integrity.”
With Christian parents, grandparents and others deeply concerned about the state of education in America, the School Board Academy is a logical next step for the organization, which is the non-profit education arm of Family Policy Alliance.
Banks told us that the academy has already hosted two initial training sessions before this public launch.
“Our first cohort went wonderfully this week. We also held a small pilot training in November. All told, we’ve trained 60 school board members from 22 states as of last night,” she told the Daily Citizen.
The organization said the training is delivered online, with participants learning about:
- Statesmanship and worldview.
- Jurisdiction and responsibilities of school board members.
- Curriculum standards and decision-making.
- Controversial issues facing school districts.
- How to navigate the system and advance pro-family values, and more.
The organization has posted a course outline, with classes taught by individuals such as John Stonestreet, president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview; Matt Sharp, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom; Lori Kuykendall, president of Beacon Health Education Resources; and Andrew Beckwith, president of Massachusetts Family Institute.
Attendees applauded last week’s pilot training. Carlotte Bailey, who was elected November 8 as a board member of the Charleston County School District in South Carolina, said, “Now I know that I’m not alone and there are people out there willing to lend a helping hand so that our school districts are the best they can be for families and our communities.”
Aaron Johnson, a school board member from Illinois, said, “This opened my eyes to the unified and well thought out legal approaches that can be taken to pull back from liberal degeneracy that has run rampant in our public school systems.”
Participants receive 7 1/2 hours of training over three nights. Applications are being accepted for the next virtual academy, which is scheduled for February 21-23, 2023.
Banks told us:
We are the only national school board training program delivered from a biblical worldview. In fact, we start with training on statesmanship and worldview, and then cover a variety of hot topics, legal issues and practical matters related to school board service.
Our aim is to train and equip school board members to effectively honor God, protect children, and preserve parents’ rights through their service.
Concerned Christian parents and citizens can make a difference in what children are taught in public schools, and the School Board Academy can help.
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