Education News

Top 5 stories education activists should read about ALEC

by Brian Washington

Private companies fund ALEC to hold secretive meetings that bring corporate lobbyists together with your state lawmakers. At these meetings, they vote as equals on “model bills,” drafted by ALEC, often sacrificing your rights in order to benefit the bottom lines of the group’s corporate donors. Once again, this is all done at the public’s expense. The stories listed below not only show ALEC’s plan to destroy public education, but also how those who support public schools are fighting back.

1. Educators, community turn up heat on ALEC meeting to draw attention to group’s destructive agenda

In July, hundreds of educators, parents, and community leaders surrounded the downtown hotel where ALEC held its annual meeting in Denver. The rally and march drew attention to the policies that educators say are detrimental to students and public schools and hopefully gave state lawmakers second thoughts about attending the meeting and working with ALEC.

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2. ALEC politicians cut backroom deals to float voucher legislation in several states

State politicians across the nation skirt ethics laws and make backroom deals with ALEC to trade their votes away to corporate special interests pushing voucher legislation.

Keep in mind, ALEC doesn’t call them vouchers. The group refers to them as education savings accounts. However, don’t be fooled—the bottom line is it’s still a voucher and bad news.

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3. Iowa lawmakers side with Kochs and ALEC, silence educators, public workers

Iowa’s Republican Senate and House majority sided with the deep-pocketed Koch brothers and ALEC and voted last year to pass a bill that strips educators, nurses, firefighters and other public service workers of their right to have a voice in the workplace on behalf of the people they serve. The vote came despite widespread opposition.

More than a thousand Iowans rallied on the state Capitol grounds to protest the bill and several hundred testified and packed legislative debate sessions.

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4. IN educators raise awareness about ALEC’s bad agenda for students, public education

When the Indianapolis Indians, the city’s Minor League baseball team, played its game at Victory Field, players looking into the stands saw a bunch of people taking part in a celebration of public schools by wearing bright red shirts that read across the front, “#ProtectPublicEd.”

People noticed the shirts—just what teachers and education support professionals wanted state residents to do—along with the state politicians attending ALEC’s meeting at the nearby J.W. Marriott downtown.

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5. CA activists stand up for students, middle-class at ALEC annual meeting

A California educator shares the experience of joining hundreds in San Diego to protest the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, also known as ALEC. The infamous billionaire duo Charles and David Koch, also known as the Koch brothers, fund ALEC, which has a track record of exploiting the rights of working Americans to make the rich even richer.

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5 responses to “Top 5 stories education activists should read about ALEC

  1. As a teacher for 12 years I believe I have heard every excuse to get around laws created to give children equally opportunity. I am concerned that some private schools do not have to serve the broader spectrum of students, especially concerning the poor and mentally challenged. Many of these schools hide their discrimination practices against low income and mentally challenged students admitting only those who can pay the high cost to attend. They many times do not care that children left in poorly maintained public schools lack proper tools such as computers. libraries and updated classroom textbooks. When we take the money from public schools for vouchers to private schools we should also require these schools to take a percentage of the mentally challenged and English second language and poor before they qualify for the voucher money. Vouchers should never be paid to any school who discriminates against any child requardless of income, nor English second language nor the mentally challenged. Any poor child that chooses to attend a private school should not be rejected according to their ability to pay. The school’s quotas should reflect the public school systems percentages. An excellent education should be accessible by any one attending a voucher supported school regardless of low income. Even poor children deserve an excellent education.This is not to say that all public schools are inferior. I just want a quality education for all children who want to attend a private school without discrimination. If we are going to pay vouchers to private schools then lets hold them to the same non discriminatory standards for public schools. Schools that discriminate do not deserve public assistance.

  2. THere is so much at stake here that it hard to know where to start! Vouchers are just such a bad idea from that get-go! Just oppose ALEC at every opportunity !!!

  3. Dear readers: more upsetting than all of the above is the ugly intentions of ALEC & Koch Brothers practice of USING the most vulnerable and their uninformed parents to create legislation to “help” their education! Legislation on voucher expansion includes special education students, foster children, homeless, the poor , the fragile & innocent rich white children who don’t know their true parents intention of wanting segregation. STOP using children in such ugly manner. They are not being served as the law ( like IDEA demands) . Those kids want to be with their friends & community! FUND THAT COMMUNITY PUBLIC SCHOOL & CUT OUT THE SELF SERVING ALEC CORPORATE FOR PROFIT GIMMICKS!

  4. A list of words that are being banned in TRUMPS upcoming budget are completely against diversity and the nonChristian way. United States constituents better fight harder!
    ex: LGBTQ, DIVERSITY, METHOD/SCIENCE BASED ,TRANSGENDER, do you see where this matters? Trump is going to destroy protection for our most vulnerable children and citizens.

  5. Public education and public control of education are the foundations of democratic government. The U.S. must not allow vouchers for education in private schools. Support of private for profit schools is an illegal act by government to support private businesses over which the government has no control. Under no circumstances can vouchers be used for religion affiliated schools which would violate the separation of church and state. ALEC is a group of businesses attempting to control the government and must be stopped.

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