Chris Taylor, a Democratic State Assemblyman from Madison, Wisconsin, joined ALEC so he can learn what the far-right advocacy group is up to. He attended the recent conference in Denver where Betsy DeVos spoke.
The issue of the moment for ALEC is public education—that is, undermining it. ALEC members are foaming at the mouth for the now-endless opportunities to further privatize public schools, long a central goal. When he was governor of Wisconsin in the early 1990s, Tommy Thompson implemented the first state voucher scheme in the nation—an idea he acquired from an ALEC conference.
Taylor describes DeVos’s speech.
And he adds:
DeVos, like most of the people at ALEC, dismisses the collective good in favor of the individual benefit. Our public education system was designed to collectively educate the masses, in hopes that democracy would thrive. Her priority, and ALEC’s agenda, are otherwise.
After bashing the federal government and federal program, her answer for change is…get ready…a federal program to promote school choice, charters and vouchers!
Proponents know their universal voucher scheme, where public dollars flow directly to families rather than to schools, makes it impossible for a public-school infrastructure to survive. How do you maintain public school facilities and staff when you have no guaranteed funding?
For ALEC, it is all about tearing down our public-school infrastructure so corporate privatization efforts can move in and make a buck.
Proponents of privatization have abandoned their claim that vouchers offer better education, so now they are selling choice for the sake of choice.
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