This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO). It’s a privilege to have served as a member, as president of the board of directors, and now, as its executive director. I am very proud to be part of this association. And there’s a lot to be proud of.
In preparation for our anniversary, I reviewed the minutes from past board meetings, including the first ones in 1946. Those first meetings included just over a dozen members, and as far as I could tell, annual dues were $1 per person. TASBO, created to address the financial and logistical challenges of a growing public education system in Texas, was part of the Texas State Teacher’s Association (TSTA) and remained so for more than 30 years.
While it’s entertaining to look at past photos, past fashions and hairdos, one thing that stood out to me was the volunteerism and service of these early members. I’m so grateful that they dedicated their time to form this association.
Our early leaders gathered initially to work on proposed amendments to a fire escape law for school buildings. The consensus was that the statewide fire escape law was “wholly inadequate” for school buildings and the issues were “universal throughout the state.” The leaders collaborated with the Dallas Board of Education (which drafted the amendment for schools) and the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) to help get the rules adopted.
Other issues addressed in these early meetings include:
- school bond tax rates
- TRS benefits for auxiliary employees
- casualty insurance provisions
- after-school use of buildings
These could be topics at one of our upcoming conferences. What is the old saying? The more things change, the more they stay the same. What it implies for public education is that there are issues that continue because the education and safety of our children are worth hard work, sacrifice and resources — even when it’s complicated.
If you want to know who “school business officials” are, we are the people who do most everything other than curriculum and instruction. We’re the ones with the spreadsheets. We’re the ones who calculate how many custodians are needed for a particular facility.
Our members do some of the hard work behind the scenes so teachers and principals can concentrate on instruction. It’s not always easy and will not always be easy in the future. But we are glad to do this work because it’s worth it.