Support HB 95: Stop SLAPP Suits in Pennsylvania!

Support HB 95: Stop SLAPP Suits in Pennsylvania!

Chief Sponsor, State Rep. Russ Diamond (Home Page)

Friday, December 4, 2020

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It is time for elected school board directors to FIRE this private lobbying corporation. One school board apparently already has!


PSBA 2-20-17 Lobbying Registration Statement reveals PSBA have retained Long Nyquist & Associates who lobby for the PSEA teachers' Union and who lobbied for the FBI sting-operation company 'Textbook Bio-Solutions LLC" and who State Senator Scott Wagner called "the biggest cancer in this building".

Inside PSBA

The Pennsylvania Schools Boards Association (PSBA) is a tax-exempt private lobbying corporation whose employees amazingly receive taxpayer-funded pensionsThe statutory remit for PSBA is found in Section 516 of the PA School Code. This private corporation is funded by tax dollars from 499 school districts, 65 career & technical schools, 27 intermediate units and 14 community colleges (source: 605 "members").  It's time to look underneath the hood of PSBA.

PSBA General Counsel threatens to sue a citizen critic

PSBA General Counsel Michael Levin filed this lawsuit against the Commonwealth. Levin is also school solicitor at Centennial SD (public record), BLaST IU 17 (public record), and Coatesville Area SD (public record).  Read the e-mail exchange to see the context of Levin's threat and the follow up to it by PSBA Executive Director Nathan Mains. [After this e-mail exchange, PSBA removed from this webpage its 2016 and 2015 financial statements but, as seen above, they had already been downloaded].

The "chimp" controversy

Centennial (where Michael Levin is counsel) is the school district home to school board director Mark Miller, recent PSBA president. See "Tweet showing chimp as student prompts resignation of school boards association leader". Mark Miller remains a Centennial board director.

PSBA's representation of private "for profit" corporate interests

Amaazingly, PSBA 'semployees get public pensions. Nathan Mains (image source) is PSBA's Executive Director. IRS public records reveal his 2015-2016 compensation to be $229,870 from PSBA and $49,968 from other compensation. PSBA shares the same website listed address as CM Regent Insurance Company which PSBA endorses as a place for its government agency "members" to spend taxpayer dollars buying insurance. Nathan Mains and PSBA Immediate Past-President Kathy Swope both sit on CM Regent's Board of Directors (source: CM Regent website last viewed 8-19-17). Public school entities buy insurance to protect against lawsuits. Insurance companies typically have a pre-approved list of lawyers that are assigned to handle cases for school clients. Who are these lawyers and do they receive any public money directly? On May 16, 2017, from a Nathan Mains PSBA e-mail account, PSBA sent out a blast-email to government agencies lobbying them to deny Items 15-21 of this 5-8-17 Right to Know request. This e-blast stated "PSBA recognizes it represents the interests of many private for-profit and nonprofit corporations, which are at stake if this part of the request is granted."

Pennsylvania School Board Solicitors Association

PSBA operates a division called Pennsylvania School Board Solicitors Association (PSBSA). See Membership Enrollment/Subscription Order form. As seen , PSBA offers school solictors the option of paying by check, billing the law firm, or billing the school agency client. Question: which lawyers/law firms 'pay their own way' with PSBA v. having taxpayers pay for their involvement with PSBA. Stay tuned as we seek to find out.


On May 8, 2017 this probing new Right to Know request was sent to 600+ local education agencines (PSBA's membership). PSBA flipped out and on the same day, 5-8-17, at 9:30pm send this e-mail blast to school board presidents, solicitors, and administrators. On May 16, 2017 PSBA sent a second desparate looking e-mail blast lobbying their own members to deny items 15-21 because PSBA has, inter alia, "for profit" interests that it represents.

FIRST AMENDMENT RETALIATION. AGAIN! Four days after the RTKL request was delivered, on 5-12-17, Attorney Michael Levin issued a second retaliatory communication (reply included). Levin objected to the caption calling out PSBA for its horrendous attitude towards taxpayers and the Right to Know Law.


Item 27 (tax duplicate): The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court will settle this matter in PFUR v. Butler Area SD. The pending decision (which PFUR will surely win) is going to supersede the OOR's bizarre decision in Campbell v. Boyertown Area SD, DKt. No. AP 2016-1966. Read the Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association's amicus curiae brief. Read PSEA's amicus curiae brief. And PFUR's response to it.

Items 15-21 (PSBA records): There is a shortage of appellate case precedent as to what constitutes a school agency "government function". But the Lackwanna Common Pleas Court has weighed in, twice. In Mid Valley School District v. Warshawer, the Court ruled that construction project records in the possession of third party contractors are accessible via Section 506(d) (completly undercutting PSBA's position that the only "government function of PSBA members is to educate public school and community college students". See PSEA e-mail blast May 8, 2016). In Kelly v. Northeastern IU the Lackawanna Court found that external auditor records were not accessible via Section 506(d). The Lackawanna Court seemed to focus on whether a function was in the school code to decide whether it was a goevrnment function or not. Watch the video to the left!