Did you know that Indiana is so hell bent on corporate education reform models that ALEC has named a 2016 legislation package in our honor called the (drumroll please…)
“Indiana Education Reform Package“:
“Indiana Education Reform Package creates a voucher program, using taxpayer funds to subsidize private for-profit and religious schools and limits teachers’ rights to collective bargaining. One of its key components–the “Charter School Act”–automatically converts low-scoring public schools into charter schools”. (Source: Center for Media and Democracy PR Watch)
If ALEC has their way with legislators, the Indiana models of ed reform will be replicated in more states across the country – and in new, more shrouded language than ever before!
Since vouchers now have a negative connotation, ALEC will begin calling them the “Great Schools Tax Credit Program” or the “Parental Choice Scholarship Program”.
Additionally, charter schools can get exempted from accountability with the “Next Generation Charter Schools” Act which allows for unelected statewide charter authorizers – and the “Charter Schools” Act allows low performing public schools to automatically convert to a charter school.
ALEC was the group responsible for writing and promoting the “Innovation Network Schools” Act (also known commonly as 1321) which was SPECIFIC ONLY TO IPS and signed into Indiana law in March 2014:
According to a legislative overview by the Mind Trust, the bill was authored by Behning, co-authored by Rep. Huston, and co-sponsored by Senators Miller, Kenley, Kruse, Grooms, Schneider and Taylor. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that ALEC and the legislators also had support from some individuals at IPS.
At least now we know who the true author of this bill was.
A link to all current 2016 ALEC education issues and model policies can be found here.
At the link provided above, there is an explanation of numerous other initiatives that ALEC is pushing in 2016 – including: opposing the Clean Power plan which ensures reduction of carbon pollution; expanding their sponsored “Right to Work” Act in other states (it’s already here in Indiana) which further destroys unions and workers’ rights; and working to ensure that the minimum wage is not set higher by state or local governments through bills like the “Starting (Minimum) Wage Repeal Act,” “Resolution in Opposition to any Increase in the Starting (Minimum) Wage,” and “Resolution Opposing Increases in the Minimum Wage Linked to the CPI.”
All of this information is from the following source: http://www.prwatch.org/news/2016/05/13099/alec%27s-2016-agenda-snapshot#sthash.bD3aOXW3.dpuf (From the Center for Media and Democracy PR Watch – I highly encourage you to read the full article).
Here’s the best part – ALEC is holding their 43rd Annual Meeting from July 27-29 right here in Indianapolis! See the IBJ article and this 2014 Indy Star Letter to the Editor, which calls out several Indiana ALEC members, reportedly including Governor Mike Pence, Chris Atkins, David Frizzell, and the state chairs for ALEC: Senator Jim Buck and Representative David A. Wolkins.
I don’t know about you, but I get absolutely no feelings of “hoosier hospitality” when I think about this group coming to visit. As far as I’m concerned, their Indiana bills have already done enough damage.
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