Revenge of CTA: How One Teachers Union Plans to Fund Attacks and Recalls on Pro-Parent Board Members

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California Teachers Association (CTA) is big mad and also running scared. How do we know? Because pro-Parent board members are getting it from all sides, with spurious government lawsuits and online attacks.

CTA actually colluding to tank the will of the people? Consider this my shocked face. As one California education insider, who I spoke to on background, said, 

This is absolutely a statewide strategy, but it is also absolutely a national strategy. A deliberate tamping down of the voice of the people. We cannot win with our bad ideas, so we’ll engage in other means to nullify your vote.

Despite their gaslighting, sign stealing, and misinformation campaigns against pro-parent activists and candidates, the CTA has not been able to stop pro-parent candidates from changing the makeup of their boards to ones that consider the parents and the students, rather than following union-backed political and social agendas. This happened in the Orange Unified School District, which includes the cities of Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim Hills, and portions of Garden Grove and Santa Ana. These areas are not deep into Orange County, and their economic and ethnic makeup is quite diverse. In 2022, OUSD parents made their voices heard and changed the makeup of the board. Madison Miner was elected as a trustee, and Rick Ledesma, a pro-parent stalwart on the Board who had served since the early 1990s, became chair. It was after this occurred that radical changes began to occur, and the unions did not like it. If you can’t beat ’em, recall ’em, and that is what the Orange Unified Education Association did. OUEA is the local teachers union affiliated with CTA. They successfully mounted a recall effort, which gained enough signatures to make the March 5 primary ballot. After those votes were counted (amazing how quickly it works when it is in the unions’ favor), OUEA succeeded in ousting Ledesma and Miner, the two OUSD trustees behind the revolution.

The district is one of many in Southern California where similar instances have occurred over nearly identical issues.

Darshan Smaaladen hopes that the vote will send a message to other districts. 

“Voters want school boards that are looking out for their best interest and not doing anything that is a personal agenda or personal benefit,” Smaaladen, the Co-Chair of the recall effort, said. I think both of those things were in play with our recall. And, having the voters support us really validated what we were feeling as parents.”

The OUEA-funded recall campaign was highly questionable and is now under scrutiny for potential lawsuits. In the meantime, they have their scalps and have won the battle, but the war still rages. Ledesma’s and Miner’s crime was calling a special meeting of the Board to fire Superintendent Gunn Marie Hansen, and put the assistant superintendent on paid leave. According to legacy media reports, parents saw this as a secretive and bad move. But as we have seen in California and other states, these superintendents are simply there to do the teachers unions’ bidding and maintain the status quo. Just look at Loudoun County, Virginia.

How it started: Virginia School Board Ignores 84 Percent of Parents Opposed to Teaching ‘Gender Identity’ in Sex-Ed Classes

How it’s going: Justice Is Served in Loudoun County After Superintendent Found Guilty in Non-Binary Rape Cover-Up

The OUSD Board got it right by removing the superintendent, as my California insider said.

They went to work right away. They fired the Superintendent and fired the district lawyers, which is what every school board should do.

Because just like the superintendents, the lawyers are looking out for the interest of the unions, not the parents whose tax dollars pay their salaries.

But OUEAand in concertCTA, is still running scared. One of their activists confirmed in a leaked video that OUSD is a test-case for their strategy to destroy pro-parent school boards and board candidates, and to continue this strategy nationwide.


Hear what this activist employee said:

They are concerned, and they are working with me to bring in resources and support.” 

Higher ups of CTA.

They’re seeing it as Orange is the pilot, if you will. If they can succeed here in Orange then they know they can go to other districts and do the same thing.”

Very concerned,” “Very worried,” “ABC Money” “Working with me to bring in resources and support.” 

Yeah sounds like election interference and vote rigging to me. Let’s get the viewpoint of Julie Hamill, who is suing the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health over violations of free speech.

The OUSD Recall was engineered and politically motivated. The recall proponents were literally caught red-handed in their duplicitous behavior.

Several activists in the teachers union-fueled campaign to recall two conservative members of the Orange Unified School District OUSD) Board of Education were arrested last week for stealing campaign signs urging voters to oppose the recall. The pro-recall campaigners were caught red-handed with the stolen signs in their garages or side yards, after initially denying they had engaged in sign stealing.

This local paper calls out the true reason behind recalling Ledesma and Miner.

Although the union’s ostensible rationale was the OUSD Board majority’s decision to exercise their right to terminate the district superintendent, the real reason is the Board majority’s general support for charter schools, attention to curriculum and elevating the rights of parents. Opposition to charter schools is a core tent of teacher union political action.

However, the real stakeholders are paying attention, and not letting this leaked video, or the CTA’s plot, stand.

My California insider urges that we not see this recall of the pro-parent OUSD Board members as a defeat but as a rallying cry. 

Here’s the deal. Lawfare works. What happened to parents was COVID. Four years out, right now we’re seeing the results of the ripple that happened in 2020. What also changed was social media. Suddenly everything that was going on secretly, the union agendas, was exposed. Parents are seeing, finally, what’s going on. Parents are upset, and they’re going to the polls. They’re scared now because parents are noticing and pushing back.

My California insider encourages parents nationwide to 1) Start the work you want to do early; 2) Start and continue the fights against these union-backed board members and superintendents, and; 3) Do all that you can to support pro-parent candidates and board members. 

Here is how parents are winning:

School district attorneys are the biggest obstacle to school districts making change. As my insider said, “The lawyers are a huge, huge problem in every school district.” California public records requests in several pending lawsuits show where lawyers have counseled school districts on ways to circumvent the Constitution at the state and federal levels. So, when you get your board members installed, move to fire the district lawyers.

A fish rots from the head. Do like OUSD did: move to get rid of the superintendent and their assistants. “This is the most local control that any municipality has,” my insider said.

Parent-first activists, pro-parent boards, and candidates must get their own public relations and social media arms. Every public entityespecially the unionshas a communications apparatus. If money is an issue, someone’s savvy teenager can do this for their pro-parent school board and school board candidates. Part of the reason the unions get all the attention is that they have the legacy media in their pockets and they have activists on hand to work social media to their advantage. Pro-parent advocates and school boards need to pay greater attention to getting their message out.

The pro-parent agenda is winning in the courts. So, stay encouraged. As my insider said:

The law really is on our side, social media is not. I don’t think they’ll succeed. This battle will eventually be won, but it will be won in the courts. There are a lot of court challenges to the things they are doing. 

More of the money people are recognizing it too, and they are pouring money into causes instead of a single candidate. We are seeing more donors willing to step up and support these cases.

So CTA can stay scared and stay mad. Reality-based parents will keep gunning for you and will win.

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