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Bush’s Corporate Education Group Operates from ALEC’s Playbook

Illustration from In The Public Interest

The American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC's) long history of influencing state legislators—sometimes even writing legislation for them—to pass laws and promote policies that advance a corporate profit agenda, and at times an extreme conservative agenda, is well documented.

Now a new report shows another group—led by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush—is following the ALEC blueprint in pushing state education policy backed by for-profit education corporations.

According to the watchdog group In The Public Interest, newly obtained e-mails show that the Foundation for Excellence in Education, founded and chaired by Bush and conservative state education officials, wrote and edited laws, regulations and executive orders, often in ways that improved profit opportunities for the organization’s financial backers. Foundation for Excellence in Education sometimes worked through its Chiefs For Change affiliate.

In the Public Interest Chair Donald Cohen says:

Testing companies and for-profit online schools see education as big business. For-profit companies are hiding behind [Foundation for Excellence in Education] and other business lobby organizations they fund to write laws and promote policies that enrich the companies.

The report shows the “dangerous role that corporate money plays in shaping our education policy.”

Correspondence in Florida, New Mexico, Maine, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Louisiana paint a graphic picture of corporate money distorting democracy.

Read more from In The Public Interest and you can find the e-mails here.

Read more about the connections between the Foundation for Excellence in Education and ALEC by The Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss.

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