Cashing in on Kids: 172 ALEC Education Bills Push Privatization in 2015
ALEC Continued to Cash in on Kids in 2015 and Beyond
Despite widespread public opposition to the corporate-driven education privatization agenda, at least 172 measures reflecting American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model bills were introduced in 42 states in 2015, according to an analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy, publishers of ALECexposed.org and PRWatch.org. (A PDF version of this report may be downloaded here.)
One of ALEC’s biggest funders is Koch Industries and the Koch brothers’ fortune. The Kochs have had a seat at the table—where the private sector votes as equals with legislators—on ALEC’s education task force via their “grassroots” group Americans for Prosperity and their Freedom Partners group, which was described as the Kochs’ “secret bank.”
The Kochs also have a voice on ALEC’s Education Task Force through multiple state-based think tanks of the State Policy Network, ALEC’s sister organization, which is funded by many of the same corporations and foundations and donor entities.
ALEC’s Education Task Force is also funded by the billionaire DeVos family, which bankrolls a privatization operation called “American Federation of Children,” and by for-profit corporations like K12 Inc., which was founded by junk-bond king Michael Milliken.
ALEC’s education task force has pushed legislation for decades to privatize public schools, weaken teacher’s unions, and lower teaching standards.
ALEC’s agenda would transform public education from a public and accountable institution that serves the public into one that serves private, for-profit interests. ALEC model bills divert taxpayer money from public to private schools through a variety of “voucher” and “tuition tax credit” programs. They promote unaccountable charter schools and shift power away from democratically elected local school boards.