In a free society, education ought to be a universally accessible public institution, which aims to liberate the minds of the people to better understand and survive in the world in which we live. In a society that is neither free nor equal, “education” is the apparatus of those in power used to perpetuate the disparities and inequalities that maintain domination. The track record of ALEC indicates such attempts to co-opt what should be an inherent condition of free society and mold it into an institution that divides us and thwarts our goals of freedom and true democracy.
ALEC has developed model legislation that would work to degrade public education and replace it with for-profit education. Such legislation would:
- Dissolve teacher’s unions in a seemingly endless variety of ways. ALEC has introduced several pieces of legislation that all weaken the bargaining power or legitimacy of unions.
- Subsidize private for-profit universities through a system of public-funded vouchers, which are only accessible to the wealthy.
- Offer tax credits to corporations that donate to private schools and to parents that can afford private schools.
- Require, through regulation, that schools promote right-wing ideology in the name of “intellectual diversity.”
The following is a list of ALEC-member corporations involved in the decay of free education in the United States.
Connections Academy – Division of Connections Education LLC, a for-profit school that contracts to other agencies and entities to provide online lessons. Connections Academy is on ALEC’s “Education Task Force.”
Dell – The world’s largest direct-sale computer corporation. Criticized for labor, human rights, environmental, and product safety controversies, Dell also sits on the “Education Task Force” and is responsible for the model legislation noted above.