ALEC model bill provided the framework for Indiana voucher measure

Take a look at this legislation that describes how a state will provide “choice scholarships” to help pay tuition for students who transfer from public schools to private schools, including religious schools.

Is it the voucher bill that the Indiana legislature passed in 2011? It almost could be – the two are remarkably similar. But in fact it’s model legislation, last revised in 2009 and produced by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate-funded organization for conservative state legislators.

Why have virtually identical teachers’ union-bashing, education-privatizing measures appeared in state after Republican-controlled state, including Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Louisiana and Pennsylvania? ALEC and its model bills are part of the answer.

Founded in 1973, ALEC has made itself the go-to source for right-wing lawmakers who share its agenda of unfettered capitalism and states’ rights. It’s not surprising that Republicans in Indiana, with the state’s limited legislative support staff, would turn to a well-funded outfit like ALEC for guidance and support.

Indiana State Rep. David Frizzell, R-Indianapolis, was installed two weeks ago as ALEC board chairman. Continue reading