Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is coming to Denver on Wednesday July 19th to address the ALEC conference happening July 19-21.
The American Legislative Exchange Council is a conservative group that has successfully pushed for free-market principles at statehouses across the country says Ilana Spiegel, an educator and mother of children in the public school system. Spiegel led the discussion on ALEC’s impact on public education at the recent ALEC teach-in held in Denver. She says ALEC has been involved in education policy for over a decade.
“Part of it can date back to 2006 when Milton Friedman an economist from Chicago, told the ALEC conference that the ideal way to reform the public education system would be to abolish the public school system. Looking back to 2006 that’s where some of this ALEC legislation started.”
ALEC has promoted pro-charter school legislation and pro-voucher legislation in states around the country. According to the ALEC website:
“Forty-two states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books allowing charter schools to operate, while half the states have some form of private school choice program. The states should continue to expand parent choice and push educational institutions to compete with each other to provide the best product, just like providers of any other service.”
Public school advocates say that voucher programs syphon money away from the public school system into private schools and religious schools.
A “Denver RESISTS DeVos” protest is planned for 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday outside the state Capitol. The Colorado Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, is planning to make signs will participate in the protest and then march to the ALEC meeting at the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Denver.