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Progress Florida examines ALEC’s role in education

by John Kennedy | June 25th, 2013

Progress Florida, the liberal advocacy organization, released a report Tuesday examining the wide-ranging influence the American Legislative Exchange Council has on public education in Florida and across the nation.

ALEC, which has been criticized as a collaboration of multinational corporations and conservative lawmakers, has become a premier force behind the charter school movement, corporate voucher programs and online education, Progress Florida concludes.

“Floridians need to know who is representing, and how cozy their lawmakers are with, the for-profit education industrial complex,” said Mark Ferrulo, executive director of Progress Florida.

ALEC helped shape sweeping changes to the Florida Retirement System proposed in the state Legislature this spring. Although the plan advanced by House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, failed to clear the Senate, Weatherford has said he expects the measure to be back next year.

ALEC also has advocated changes in environmental and labor laws, voter ID measures and pro-gun laws such as the “stand your ground” legislation, which came into focus following Trayvon Martin’s shooting death last year in Central Florida.

In Florida, where free-market conservative Republicans control every phase of state government, ALEC’s model bills have proved a touchstone for many policies. But the model legislation can also prove a two-way street, with ALEC’s stand-your-ground proposal shopped nationally after first being approved by Florida lawmakers.

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13 Responses to “Progress Florida examines ALEC’s role in education”

  1. Florida Mom Says:

    49 corps including Publix have cut their ties to ALEC, so good for Progress Florida for focusing on their dystopian tactics. Weatherford and his pals can keep bringing bad legislation up but I think the tide of public opinion is against them now, and I don’t see that changing in their favor a year from now.

  2. GOP = Lousy Values Says:

    Publix still supports ALEC which is why I don’t shop at Publix. They claim to be “employee owned” but if that were really the case, Publix would not be supporting ALEC!

  3. Special People Says:

    Whether liberal or conservative, no one can deny that public education is in trouble.

    The wealthy of both political persuasions, republican AND democrats, have their children in private schools, parochial schools or are able to get their children in special public magnet schools when the local public schools are not ‘acceptable’.

    Just look at the Obamas. They had their children, oops, close your eyes and don’t read, in a PRIVATE school, bypassing the local neighborhood public school for which their children were assigned in Chicago.

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-sends-his-kids-private-school-opposes-school-choice-vouchers

    Why is it OKAY for the rich, for the elites, and for the politically powerful to have their children in schools that are NOT PUBLIC, or in special magnet schools, but not alright for the rest of us?

    They have the money or the political position to attain what they want. The rest of us do NOT. We just want an equalization of education.

    Just look at our local PBC school board members who have had their children get accepted into Dreyfoos, Bak, Suncoast and other magnet schools (compared to the rest of the population in PBC) when the local public school assignment for their children is not ‘acceptable’.

    It’s amazing how school board members’ children, relatives get accepted into these local magnet programs at a HIGHER percentage than the rest of the democrat or republican citizens’ children in PBC.

    It’s time for the PALM BEACH POST to see how those school board members’ children are accepted; gain access to these magnet programs in Palm Beach County.

    Has ANY school board member’s children been denied a spot in these special schools?

    How many school board member’s children have attended Dreyfus, Bak, Suncoast or other magnet programs that other parents have been UNABLE to secure a position for their children?

    That’s the INequity and FAVORITISM in Palm Beach County.

    Who says entry into these lcoal magnet programs is OBJECTIVE and based on MERIT or LOTTERY LUCK?

    If your parent or relative is a school board member you have a HIGHER ADVANTAGE of getting your child ACCEPTED into these prestigious public schools than the rest of the population in Palm Beach County.

    Start doing your JOB, Palm Beach Post, and delve into the UNeven playing field in our local schools.

    It’s time to do the work to LEVEL the playing field for all, not just the politically elite.

    Let’s see if school board member Jennifer Prior Brown’s children bypass the local school assignment of Conniston Middle when that time comes.

    Bet you, she doesn’t want her children in ‘that’ school. It’s Bak or a ‘special magnet’ program.

  4. TAMPA/RSS FEED = Democrats Says:

    When the political ‘news’ or storyline is coming from the Tampa/RSS FEED just shows a political bias in ‘reporting’.

    It’s a regurgitation of one politcal entity in FL.

    It is true that Education in America is failed.

    Prime example: when ‘reporters’ regurgitate political manufactured ‘news’ coming out of democrat dominated TAMPA/RSS FEED.

    That is a disservice to your readers.

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  10. jiopp Says:

    t’s time for the PALM BEACH POST to see how those school board members’ children are accepted; gain access to these magnet programs in Palm Beach County.

    Has ANY

  11. jiopp Says:

    Let’s see if school board member Jennifer Prior Brown’s children bypass the local school assignment of Conniston Middle when that time comes.

  12. jiopp Says:

    That’s the INequity and FAVORITISM in Palm Beach Coun

  13. jiopp Says:

    where free-market conservative Republicans control every phase of state government, ALEC’s model bills have proved a touchstone for many policies. But the model legislation can also prove a two-way street, with ALEC’s stand-your-ground proposal s

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