How to increase the success of recalling school board trustee?

It’s an effective way to remove trustee who fail their fiduciary duty to student’s best interest

In January 2020 a small group of volunteers initiated a recall of a Teachers’ Union-endorsed trustee in our district www.recallgibson.com, which lead to her resignation just before the signatures gathering phase of the recall campaign against her began.

I admit I had a lot of background information preceding the recall of this trustee since I ran for school board against her in 2018 www.vote4lea.org

What can you do to make your recall successful? I would like to share with you the strong arguments we used to push for her resignation.  A resignation is greatly preferred as you do not have to collect signatures, which is timing consuming and difficult.

Our team of volunteers identified six major rationals which justified the Trustee’s recall. Here are some main points which may apply to your Trustee:

  1. Failing fiduciary duty to advocate for students’ best interest 
    • Get their track records on voting for union best interest
    • Get their track record on failing to advocate for students
  2. Identify clear conflict of Interest.  Was the Teachers’ Union the only or primary source of your trustee’s campaign (s) financing?
  3. Search for possible Title IX Violations
    • Get public records request if there are any Title IX violation
    • Did the District protect abusive teachers?
    • Did the District deny certain students equal access to education?
  4. Show fiscally irresponsible or financial improprieties with CARES Money. What was the money spent on?
    • Check the Department of Education classification of Learning Loss Mitigation https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/cr/learningloss.asp#application
    • Get public records request on the way CARES money was used
    • Raises to teachers and administrators during the pandemic
    • Did they buy equipment to open school safely?
    • Did they introduce programs to mitigate loss of learning?
    • Did they address health and safety concerns?
    • Did they provide academic services, devices, supplies, or materials?

Get as much information as you can from public records and recorded school board meetings.  Look for data and/or information that highlights the Trustee’s improprieties with the teachers’ union and identifies conflicts of interest. Highlight the harm it caused to students safety and well-being.

Highlight specifics stories with facts, including board meeting comments, voting record, statements, and media interviews, if available.

For example, in July 2020, the district initiated a purchase order to buy 13,000 chromebooks for $5.3 million with delivery date open up to June 2021.

Our affluent District did not need to purchase Chromebooks for every student, especially as there are many Districts with more justifiable financial need and more deserving students.  As of March 2021, our District has received zero Chromebooks from their order. Our community is demanding to know “where is the money?” And “where are the chrome books?” How can Chromebooks received in June 2021 help mitigate learning loss?

When you initiate the recall, make these issues very specific, but you must have the facts to back up your claims.

If these issues border on unlawful or inappropriate, you have a greater chance of forcing a resignation, before entering phase 2 of collecting signatures.

If you need further help, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Lea