In 2008, OSBA’s Board of Trustees adopted an innovative strategic plan and planning process that mapped OSBA’s mission, vision and goals through the year 2012. A new Visionary Initiatives for Strategic Action (VISA) team was formed in 2012 to revisit and update the plan. That updated strategic plan guided and directed the association’s efforts from 2013–2017. In 2017, OSBA President Denise Baba appointed a new 30-member team to revisit the VISA. 

Under the facilitation of Glenn Tecker, of Tecker International, a national expert on association management, the team reexamined the OSBA Mission Statement and Guiding Principles, reviewed the current strategic plan and assessed the association’s current and future needs. These efforts resulted in a draft of a new VISA that transformed our current seven vision priorities into four new goals – the pillars of OSBA for the next five years.

Following the work of that committee, the National School Boards Association was asked to conduct a functional review of the association’s operations. Executive directors from six states, along with NSBA, spent a week studying the association and conducted reviews of 22 specific areas in addition to interviewing leadership of ten outside associations and government agencies. The NSBA report along with input from from the team was used to refine the objectives and strategies for each to the four goals listed below.


Public school board of education members and their leadership teams value and utilize OSBA as the source of assistance, guidance, unity and support to successfully govern their districts.


  1. Increase participation of school boards and their leadership teams in OSBA services and activities.
  2. Increase OSBA’s scope of influence in the field of education governance.
  3. Increase service competitiveness in the marketplace.
  4. Increase outreach to ensure collaboration and participation with individuals and organizations in the education arena that shape the future of public schools.
  5. Expand opportunities for networking among board members and the districts they serve.


  1. Provide additional opportunities for school district management teams to participate in OSBA programs that result in an increased participation level of administrators by the end of 2019.
  2. In 2018, expand the role of the OSBA Board of Trustees, Ambassadors for Education and regional executive committees in increasing member engagement.
  3. Beginning in 2019, annually increase Kids PAC membership participation by 5% and increase contributions by 10%.
  4. OSBA will conduct a needs assessment of its members to provide data for decision-making on programs and services to provide to members. The assessment will be conducted on a biennial basis with the first assessment completed by the end of 2019. 
  5. Beginning in 2019, develop additional competitive programs and services to meet member needs.
  6. By 2019, create an education roundtable made up of the major statewide education groups to create sustainability of communication and collaboration among the groups.
  7. By 2021, develop on-demand training for board members and administrators.
  8. Attain an engagement goal of 85% of school board members participating in an OSBA program, workshop or service by 2022. Further, 75% of board members will participate in some sort of professional development with OSBA.


Ohioans will value, respect and support public education through OSBA initiatives.


  1. Increase access to accurate information about public education.
  2. Improve perception of public education.
  3. Enhance fiscal responsibility through sound financial management.
  4. Increase collaboration and partnerships among government agencies, businesses and other organizations that shape the future of public education.
  5. Increase participation of community members in local and statewide grassroots advocacy efforts on behalf of OSBA’s members.


  1. Beginning in 2018, OSBA will annually commission at least one new research project that benefits public education or highlights emerging trends.
  2. Beginning in 2018, OSBA will annually conduct a climate assessment to determine what individuals and/or organizations OSBA should develop or improve relationships with to improve public education.
  3. Beginning in 2018, annually revise and update an association legislative agenda, advocacy calendar and issue tool kits to assist members in advocacy efforts.
  4. In 2019, develop training and provide materials for OSBA’s legislative liaison program.
  5. In 2019, create a procedure to continuously promote student achievement successes to board members and their respective communities.
  6. In 2020, increase resources and materials for school districts to enhance community engagement.
  7. By 2020, expand OSBA services and resources to assist the school management team in areas of sound financial management.
  8. By 2022, create an ongoing campaign to Ohio’s policymakers and citizens demonstrating the value of identifying career paths to future success.


OSBA will equip its members to provide students of all backgrounds and abilities a high-quality education to prepare them for life-long success.


  1. Increase public understanding of poverty and its impact on student learning.
  2. Enhance members’ abilities to reduce the achievement gap through the identification and dissemination of best practices.
  3. Increase member awareness of the key work of school boards and the role of governance in student achievement.
  4. Increase member understanding about barriers in education.
  5. Increase access to resources and funding for public schools.


  1. In 2018, create a diversity and equity committee to address barriers in student learning with consideration given to convening highly interactive, audience-led training summits around some of the most vexing social issues of the day, such as poverty, diversity, inclusion, equity and homelessness, which can impact all districts statewide.
  2. In 2018, develop strategies to encourage school board members to focus on student achievement, enlisting the support of administrators.
  3. In 2019 and 2021, work with legislators and policymakers at the state and federal levels to increase public school funding.
  4. In 2019 and 2021, meet with all newly elected legislators and offer training on public school issues and funding needs.
  5. In 2019 and 2021, create a campaign to collaborate with other organizations to increase the number of candidates who run for school boards by 10%, with a focus on increasing the interest of diverse candidates.
  6. In 2020, develop expertise and training programs around the key work of school boards, including vision, accountability, policy, community relations and relationships.
  7. By 2020, expand OSBA services and resources to assist members in local funding initiatives.


OSBA embraces innovative, strategic and effective association management practices.


  1. Increase effective communication with staff, members and stakeholders.
  2. Increase the recognition of OSBA’s staff and leadership as experts in their fields.
  3. Develop an evaluation process to strategically and continuously assess OSBA programs, services and operations to ensure that they are valuable, sustainable, flexible and dynamic.
  4. Maintain position as a leader in areas related to fiscal responsibility and accountability.
  5. Develop a method to enhance the board’s skills and abilities to effectively govern the association.


  1. Implement a cost-benefit analysis to measure the viability of current services, endorsed programs and sponsorships on a five-year basis before the reauthorization of the OSBA Visionary Initiatives for Strategic Action.
  2. By 2020, improve association efficiencies and internal control processes by centralizing administrative functions, including, but not limited, to registration, invoicing, contracts, endorsed program oversight, regional finances and association marketing.
  3. By 2022, complete a full-scale process and workflow analysis, exploring technology solutions to enhance and deliver services that increase efficiency, including, but not limited to, the annual conference, service delivery and internal procedures.
  4. Utilize outside assistance to increase and diversify the applicant pool for OSBA job vacancies. By 2019, create an internship program at OSBA for diverse students.
  5. By 2020, conduct a communication audit, including a review of OSBA’s social media strategies, OSBA’s corporate image and the content and functionality of the OSBA website.
  6. By 2021, create a process to periodically review regional and statewide governance structures to provide the most effective and efficient leadership.
  7. In 2021, create a long-range plan for staffing continuity and perpetuation with consideration of using region experts and cross-training to deliver services.