A Ray of Hope [Updated]

Yesterday’s election results were bad across the U.S., and in Minnesota they were horrific. But there was one positive: the performance of conservative school board candidates.

The teachers’ union, Education Minnesota, has largely run our state for decades. Among other things, in most school districts the union has more or less appointed members of the school board *against* whom the union negotiates teachers’ contracts, a corrupt arrangement. My organization has been working for some years to counteract the teachers’ union’s monopoly power over our public schools.

Earlier this year, we established the Minnesota Parents Alliance, a 501(c)(4) organization, to identify good school board candidates across the state of Minnesota, to train them with regard both to winning elections and to serving effectively on school boards, to endorse them, and, in selected instances, to provide limited financial support.

For an organization that has been in existence for less than a year, the Minnesota Parents Alliance had a huge impact on school board elections. This press release sums up MPA’s first-year results:

[S]chool board candidates backed by the upstart Minnesota Parents Alliance had a very good election night. Forty-nine candidates running with the official MPA endorsement won election to the school board last night, a tremendous accomplishment for an organization that was founded just nine months ago. Dozens of other candidates who received support from MPA such as campaign training, technical assistance, and educational resources also cruised to victory. In fact, 22 out of 38 candidates who attended one of the MPA campaign schools won their elections. Several more winning candidates throughout greater Minnesota benefitted from online access to MPA training sessions and support.

More importantly, the Minnesota Parents Alliance won seats in 15 of the 19 school districts where they devoted campaign resources such as digital advertising. Those districts include:

[List omitted.]

“Parent-backed candidates cut through all of the noise in this election and won support from voters because they talked about the important issues — academic achievement, equality and parental rights,” said Cristine Trooien, Executive Director of the Minnesota Parents Alliance.

The MPA’s voter guide, which turned out to be highly influential, is here. The MPA’s influence will only grow in future elections, and there will be a solid core of pro-parent school board members across the state to fight wokeness, racism, anti-Americanism and low academic standards. We are not all the way there yet, by any means. But conservatives’ strong showing in school board elections this year holds out hope for the future.

UPDATE: Chris Rufo notes Minnesota parents’ impressive performance in an otherwise lackluster year:

Minnesota Public Radio, obviously not friendly to our cause, has a lengthy piece on conservative success in contesting school board elections. The most interesting aspect of MPR’s article comes at the end, where the president of Education Minnesota comments bitterly:

“This has been a difficult and divisive election season for school boards, and the misinformation coming down from the big money MAGA groups…

This is truly hilarious. The only “big money MAGA group” that played a role in school board elections was the Minnesota Parents Alliance, whose budget is perhaps one one-ten thousandth of Education Minnesota’s. Probably less. And of course, playing on Donald Trump’s disgrace, liberals characterize anyone they don’t like as “MAGA.”

…worked as intended in many places,” said Education Minnesota president Denise Specht.

Just wait, Denise. Just wait. Next year will be better for parents, and worse for the teachers’ union.

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