Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Whoa! Detroit Free Press slams ALEC-linked skunk works for 'backroom deals'

We wanted to share a tremendous editorial today in the Detroit Free Press about ALEC, the billionaire-funded escort service for corporations and state lawmakers. Titled "Keep backroom dealings out of the classroom," it slams a proposal for education "reform" that involves (a) cutting funding by $2,000 per student and (b) a technology-oriented voucher system.

And what a shock: the proposal was secretly crafted by a group of charter-school employees, technology company workers and a voucher enthusiast.

As the Free Press noted,
It’s fine to take input from across the spectrum, but these are not conversations that should happen behind closed doors. If (Lansing Attorney Richard) McLellan and the others have great ideas for education in Michigan, they ought to put them out on the table with everyone else’s, and entertain a reasonable public discussion about where the state should be headed. 
Doing otherwise makes the whole thing look like a fix — a backroom way for voucher advocates to get their way, no matter what voters and taxpayers think.
The editorial went on to question whether ALEC is involved with the proposal. We're quite certain it is. The proof will come in the actual legislation, which will no doubt be cut and past from ALEC's corporate-written legislation.

And we're delighted the Free Press is on the case:
We’ll be interested to see whether any legislation that emerges from the skunk group mirrors ALEC’s work.