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.
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.
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.
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.
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.