Friday, March 29, 2013

Legislative Lunchbox v. 8

"Do legislators deserve the same apples teachers get for their efforts in education? Every Friday, "The Hoosier Mom on Politics" makes that decision, giving two legislators a good or bad apple, depending on their support of Public Education and Indiana’s children. Check back every Friday at lunchtime to see what the Hoosier Mom packs in the Legislator Lunchbox for the week!

For this post of the “Legislative Lunchbox”, I chose to pack a lunch for State Senator Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) and to the State legislators collectively.

All the State legislators received a good apple today for unanimously sending Senate Bill 465 to the Governor's desk. In the current legislative educational environment, getting legislators to work together and pass a bill as essential and critical as this one, required someone to have moved a mountain. Senate Bill 465 re-prioritizes the importance of Indiana's career-readiness vocational education program in the State through the creation of vocational curricula. The bill allows creation of regional "Indiana Works Councils" where business and education leaders will come together to define and establish mutually beneficial educational and career objectives. The grossly visible decline in support for vocational education in recent years has been blinding, and the State has struggled economically as a result. My one concern lies in the likelihood that this bill is nothing more than a pie-in-the-sky idea that legislators will not actually fund. That bright and shiny-eyed idealism that actually believes it can solve problems by thinking them away is not going to work here. Teachers, tools, supplies, support-systems, infrastructure, and more are essential to accomplish this goal. In many ways, the funding cuts in recent years have hit vocational education hard and heavy and this bill should require action to fix that problem.

Senator Luke Kenley received a bad apple today for not knowing how to stand behind his own rationale. It is simple - either one supports something because it aligns philosophically, or one is just doing another's political dirty-work; probably someone else who actually leads. Last week, Senator Kenley claimed that HB 1003 was questionable since: the current voucher system lacked data-driven accountability measures for private schools, factual evidence must be gathered to support the notion that vouchers are solving this "failing school" problem prior to expanding voucher funding. The changes Kenley approved Wednesday do not resolve these issues in any way, shape, or form. Nor does it resolve the critical issue of a year-stay in public school, which the bill lacks. Now the Senators want to tie voucher transfers to the A to F grading scale of public schools. This is ridiculous at best! These are the same Senators who little over 4 weeks ago passed a measure to remove the A to F grading scale from existence. Now - all the sudden - the Senators have decided the grading scale works and is an excellent measurement tool for vouchers? This is absurd! Moreover, why are we giving voucher funds to any family that has income above the federal income guidelines for aid to dependent families? If vouchers are to help low-income families, then we need to use the same income measures for low-income families across the board through all government programs. So either increase the income requirements for aid to dependent families or decrease income requirements for vouchers. Our legislative actions must first and foremost make sense: and to put it bluntly, the voucher program just does not align. The fact is, a group of wishy-washy scared people who can't stand behind their own convictions - let alone what is right to do by Hoosier children (if they even know the difference) - are the ones playing political games. This isn't a political recreation sport, it is our children's education. My hope is that some one can get behind their convictions and stay there. Mr. Kenley - is your character strong enough to do that?

The Hoosier Mom hopes all the readers will spread the word about the Legislative Lunchbox. Feel free to email me with suggestions for next week’s lunch: for whom should I pack lunch and why?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Former Indiana Governor and new Purdue University President, Mitch Daniels implemented $300 million in education funding cuts in 2010 and 2011 as the recession forced the state to slash its budget across the board: K-12 education, higher education, and unemployment benefits. As the 2012 fiscal year came to a close with nearly $2 billion in reserves, constituent said the surplus should be used to restore funding to programs and budgets that were cut.

Shouldn't any surplus be used to reinstate funding to those programs?  One would think that this idea would make sense, but to the politicians it apparently means nothing.  The legislature has recently set out to continue to destroy Public education in Indiana through bills to strip the power of newly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction, Glenda Ritz, and by attempting to push through a huge fiscally irresponsible voucher expansion bill.

It appears that newly elected Governor Mike Pence has no desire to increase funding for education or reinstate the $300 million that was cut.  Governor Pence has made it clear that he supports voucher expansion, and his budget does not appear to establish any fiscal improvement for Indiana's K-12 PUBLIC education.  Pence is seeking approval of his proposed budget that includes a cut in Indiana's state income tax rate by 10 percent over the next two years.

What appears fortunate for Indiana's Public schools, is the fact that prominent Republican lawmakers in Indiana are lukewarm at best on the new governor's tax cut plan. Some are even on record as wishing to replenish funding to programs the recession forced them to cut and shore up Indiana's budget for the long haul.  Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma and some other Republican legislative leaders would rather return the budget surplus to the state's public schools.

The current debate is over how much money to restore — and to what programs. Pence's budget would increase K-12 funding by $137 million over the next two years, but this increase only makes up for the gap in  the funding of Indiana's new full-day kindergarten program.  Some Indiana Democrats say Pence's budget falls short of reinstating the education dollars the Daniels administration cut; we're not even halfway there. Speaker Bosma says he'd prefer to restore even more money to public schools, although he declines to say how much and by what means. 

While all this looks good on paper, and while Mitch Daniels laughs from West Lafayette at the debate taking place, Pence's propsed increases in education look to be undercut even more by his push for voucher expansion.  Expanding the state's voucher program looks to rob a significant amount of funding from the very PUBLIC schools still reeling from those $300 million in cuts suffered under the Daniels administration's last budget.  While Daniels secured his future job by appointing the very people who eventually hired him at Purdue, he has set himself up in a comfortable seat to view Pence's battle to make a name for himself in the State House. 

While Pence and Daniels have proven to be on the same page with regard to destroying public education through their "reformist" tactics and vouchers to support their private school cronies and corporate sponsors, it is now time for Hoosier PUBLIC school supporters to continue to stand up to these politicians.  We must push for proper funding for K-12 education to be restored, and for the voucher expansion wagon to be derailed.  It is time for the Daniels era to end and for Pence to understand that the voters sent a loud message in November and will continue to do so throughout his term, which could easily end after 4 years if he continues to scoff at PUBLIC schools as second rate to his precious charter and private schools.  We must let our voices be heard loudly as we procliam that we want funding restored from the previous cuts and more support for PUBLIC education in Indiana.  We must demand our $300 million to be returned to our PUBLIC schools without adding extra unfunded expenses on top.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Legislative Lunchbox v. 7

"Do legislators deserve the same apples teachers get for their efforts in education? Every Friday, "The Hoosier Mom on Politics" makes that decision, giving two legislators a good or bad apple, depending on their support of Public Education and Indiana’s children. Check back every Friday at lunchtime to see what the Hoosier Mom packs in the Legislator Lunchbox for the week!

For this post of the “Legislative Lunchbox”, I chose to pack a lunch for State Senator Luke Kenley (R- Noblesville) and State Representative Heath VanNatter (R - Howard County).

Senator Luke Kenley received a good apple today for his common sense and leadership in the Senate Appropriations Committee hearings on the voucher expansion bill (HB 1003). One of the most expansive voucher programs in the Nation-State, Indiana's fledgling voucher program is being scrutinized in the State Supreme Court on question of its constitutionality. Moreover, the tangible recipients of these public funds are mostly private religious institutions. Student's function in the deal only as a Straw Buyer and to date students have received no documented net tangible benefit (ie: improved educational outcomes as measured on standardized tests). HB 1003 proposes even further expansion to the current voucher program, by eliminating the requirement that students at least finish a year stay in public school. Herein lies the fundamental deal breaker for most Senators, as the year stay language was essential to gaining majority approval of the first voucher bill less than two years ago. The Hoosier Mom believes Senator Kenley showed excellence in reason with the matter when he said,

"This is a pretty, almost, cataclysmic change in the education system.
I wonder if this would make sense to give it a rest for some time, say 5 years, and study it?" 

Senator Kenley, you are absolutely right. There is no reason why we have to expand the voucher program at an Indy Car pace - this isn't some quick and easy means to an end. Quite the contrary, these are our children and the easy come - easy go nature of the reform ideology is not a value I want to cultivate in my children. In fact, until there is more certainty as to the real educational outcomes for Hoosier children as a result of the nascent voucher program, there should be considerable hesitancy on the part of legislators to continue with the existing program. Hoosier children's education, not private religious institution's profit margins, are what should be the top priority.

Representative Heath VanNatter received a bad apple today for watching YouTube during the course of his busy day at work in the State House. Apparently, participation in the civic engagement process by fulfilling his elected role as State legislator just isn't interesting enough for him. So he 'mixes it up'  by watching YouTube while we the taxpayers finance him. What seems even worse is that not even one other legislator or intern or employee saw this behavior as anything out of the ordinary. It would seem that our fine Representative VanNatter must be watching YouTube fairly often for it not to phase anyone around him. Here is the video:

Now, I know there are probably worse things that could - and likely do - happen during the course of the day in the State House; things worse than some random representative watching You Tube. Maybe this just perturbs me personally because Rep. VanNatter reminds me of that young college boy who acts too smart to be bothered with participating in his class, and so uses his laptop to supposedly "take notes" all the while in reality he is busily surfing the internet for the entirety of class. Well, the Hoosier Mom thinks it is time for you to grow up Representative VanNatter: turn the video off and pay attention to the task at hand, please. After all, paying attention is the least you can do for your constituents. Who knows, maybe once you start paying attention you will eventually learn what occurs in the House and become more capable of making an informed decision on current legislation. Stranger things have happened!

The Hoosier Mom hopes all the readers will spread the word about the Legislative Lunchbox. Feel free to email me with suggestions for next week’s lunch: for whom should I pack lunch and why?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Connecting the Dots: - PART 3

Click here to Review Part 2

By Heath Johnson

Attack on Teachers Unions

Other "model" legislation has ALEC's DNA all over it.   Consider SB 312 (Sen. Jim Smith-R) or HB 1334 (Rep. Jeff Thompson and Rep. Woody Burton), which prohibits a school employer from deducting union dues from a teacher's salary.

This piece of legislation was adopted by the Commerce, Insurance, and Economic Development Task Force at the States and Nation Policy Summit, December 2, 1998 and was approved by the ALEC Board of Directors January 1999.

Language from this model legislation was reintroduced by Goldwater Institute representative, Byron Schlomach.

More on Virtual Schools
2011's HEA 1002 set into motion the establishment of virtual charter schools in Indiana.  Some of these schools, by the way, employ teachers in other states.  Choice scholarships may now be used to pay student tuition as well as the salaries of these out-of-state teachers.   At the same time, the Republican legislature supported huge cuts to the public education budget, leading to the loss of thousands of Indiana teaching jobs.  Both the choice scholarship legislation and the virtual school language are ALEC-derived.  The choice scholarship is set to be expanded in the 2013 session.   While conservative state lawmakers supported the Mitch Daniels budget slashes to public education, leading to thousands of teacher layoffs, those same lawmakers supported legislation to expand virtual schools.

As mentioned earlier, the Virtual Public Schools Act was presented on December 4, 2004.  This act provides students and families the choice of using virtual schools to "further the education" of their children.  Model legislation was authored by two virtual school companies,  K12 Inc. and Connections Academy.

So, how has K12 Inc. performed?  Not well here in Indiana and not well in other states.  While managing 2 of the 7 failing charter schools sponsored by Ball State University, they have had huge problems in other "education reform" states as well. 

This ALEC model legislation was also introduced verbatim in Tennessee.  Tennessee’s State Rep. Harry Brooks and State Sen. Dolores Gresham,both ALEC Education Task Force members, introduced the bill to their respective houses nearly verbatim, even using the same title ( 

Tennessee:  K12Inc has sponsored school in Tennessee was just caught doctoring grades.  They have the internal emails where management directed its teachers to review their grade books and delete assignments that had an abnormally high number of failing grades.

Florida:  K12Inc is under investigation in Florida for allegedly using non-certified teachers and instructing certified teachers to sign class rosters that included students they hadn’t taught.

Georgia:  K12Inc is under investigation in Georgia for allegedly violating "critical federal special education laws and regulations."

Colorado:  "...the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado shows that students at K12 Inc., ....are falling further behind in reading and math scores than students in brick-and-mortar schools" and "are also less likely to remain at their schools for the full year, and the schools have low graduate rates." 

Remember:  "It's all about the kids."    So, given K12 Inc's shaky track record, how has it managed its finances?   K12 Inc's (ticker symbol LRN) corporate revenue and profits are at an all-time high and that annual trend is looking to continue.  That makes sense, considering Republican legislatures from around the country passed legislation opening the door for virtual schools.
Balance Sheet 
Notice what happens to K12Inc's bottom line right after the nationwide expansion of virtual schools and the use of vouchers to pay for it.

Income Statement

These are but a few examples and, as you've probably gathered, I'm ready for a fight.   I want a representative government, one whose legislators understand that they are our employees not one whose legislators are sucking at the corporate teat.  

Help Connect the Dots and End the Cigar Parties

In early February, 2013 I engaged Sen. Brandt Hershman and Rep. Heath VanNatter about their involvement with ALEC and ALEC's role in authoring legislation.   Sen. Hershman responded by claiming, "the idea that corporations are feeding legislation to us is just silly." -- Refer to the 2/19/2013 edition of the Frankfort Times. 

Also, February 2013, I chose to email the Indiana General Assembly about SB 312 and HB 1334, outlining my objections and what I knew about ALEC.  I received a reply from Senator Jim Buck (ALEC State Chairman and ALEC Board of Directors), where he insinuated that I was drunk and not qualified to be a teacher.  How am I supposed to respond to that?   We educate and we fight.   

Educate everyone and demand that your legislators be held accountable with respect to their actions with ALEC!   Expose ALEC legislators and identify ALEC-authored legislation.   I've found that most people have no clue who ALEC is and how they affect their lives.   That must change or the corporate-sponsored cigar parties will continue. 

Below are some important links which may help get you started. has filed a complaint about ALEC with the IRS.   They have collected and released over 4,000 pages of ALEC documents.  The 35-day taskforce mailers, outlining "model bills" are here:

The ALEC Bylaws from 2007 (the latest I could find)., outlining who gets to vote (corporations and legislators) are here:

NPR's Bill Moyers has produced an incredible documentary outlining what ALEC is doing.

ALEC Explained in 5 Minutes

A list of ALEC Corporations (use this and to track campaign financing)

ALEC Exposed is a great site to research model bills, ALEC member corporations, and AEC legislators.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Connecting the Dots: - PART 2

By Heath Johnson

The "Right" to Know:   Think Again

Call me crazy, but it's my belief that we, as constituent voters, should have the right to know if our legislators are attending ALEC meetings, getting free hotel accommodations, reimbursed travel expenses, free drinks, free meals, free cigars, and.... free corporate-crafted legislation.   This legislation impacts our classrooms and our ability to teach, it impacts our students and their parents, and it impacts the community as a whole.   Well, I guess I'm wrong.   According to an email I received (dated 5/15/12) from the chief counsel for the House Republican Caucus, we don't have a right to such information,

"...the Indiana Supreme Court has held that the provisions of the Access to Public Records Act (“APRA”) do not apply to the Indiana House of Representatives.  In Masariu v. The Marion Superior Court No. 1, 621 N.E.2d. 1097 (Ind. 1993), the Indiana Supreme Court determined that it would not intervene in the internal affairs of the legislative branch of government and that it is up to the legislative branch to decide its own internal procedural rules.

In the time between my May 4 response to your email and today, I contacted the Public Access Counselor (“PAC”) to get guidance on the issue, even though the APRA does not apply to the House of Representatives.  I was advised by the PAC that we are not required to create a list to satisfy an open records request.  [See page 25 of the Handbook on Indiana’s Public Access Laws which you can download here: or I.C. 5-14-3-3(f).]" 

In other words, constituent voters have no right to know if their legislators are engaging in such activities.  In fact, I think this was the email that finally did it for me.   Following this, I made it my mission to expose Indiana's ALEC members, ALEC legislation, and the ALEC "corporate dating service for lonely legislators and corporate special interests" (Wisconsin State Rep. Mark Pocan).  ALEC's DNA Here are some documents that I've found which helped me understand just how extensive ALEC's influence has been with pushing and passing the education reform legislation.

Prior to ALEC Taskforce meetings the "charitable organization" mails out a packet of information to its members.   Referred to as the 35-day Mailer, it includes the model bills, agenda, registration fees, and information about free hotel accommodations and travel reimbursement.   
Linked below is the ALEC Taskforce 35-day Mailer for the December, 2010 Washington D.C. ALEC taskforce "summit".

Much of the "model" legislation in this "Taskforce packet" was authored ad sponsored by the Goldwater Institute and much of it was introduced and/or passed in Florida prior to being pushed in Indiana.   The huge model bill in this packet is referred to the  "A-Plus Literacy Act" and it incorporates "model" legislation already adopted by ALEC.   Discussion and voting was sponsored by Matt Ladner, The Goldwater Institute and moderated by Ms. Mickey Revenaugh, Connections Academy, Private Sector Task Force Chair

Page 15 - School A-F grading "model" legislation
Page 18 - School bonus money grant "model" legislation

Page 19 - School choice scholarship "model" legislation

Page 30 - Private school tax credit "model" legislation

Page 36 - REPA II "model" legislation - alternative teacher certification.

Page 38 - I-Read 3 "model" legislation

Page 70 - Parent Trigger "model" legislation (authored by the Heartland Institute)

Page 121 -  Language outlining Taskforce Member free hotel accommodations and reimbursement of travel expenses.

Specifically, the Parent Trigger bill (HB 1358) in the Indiana General Assembly was written by the Heartland Institute. 

This piece of legislation was authored and presented by the Heartland Institute at the December 3rd, 2010 at the ALEC Education Task Force Meeting held at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.   Discussion and voting on this original model legislation occurred at 5:05 p.m. on December 3rd, 2010.   It was sponsored by
Marc Oestreich, Heartland Institute. and moderated by Ms. Mickey Revenaugh, Connections Academy, Private Sector Task  Force Chairman.
The legislation was authored by (page 99 of the pdf):

Joseph Bast, president of The Heartland Institute
Ben Boychuk, managing editor of The Heartland Institute’s School Reform News
Bruno Behrend, J.D., director of the Center for School Reform at The Heartland Institute

Marc Oestreich, legislative specialist on education and telecommunications at The Heartland Institute

AGENDA of this ALEC 35-day Mailing (page 8 of the pdf)
MODEL BILL (page 70 of the pdf)

See Heartland Institute's statement on the 2013 Indiana bill.

Connecting the Dots: - PART1

Ritz-Carlton Resort Amelia Island

By Heath Johnson

In late 2010, I started to chart a new course in my life, as I began to study the "education reform" legislation which was being proposed by our Republican legislature.   Prior to that, I simply went about the business of shaping young minds and preparing them for the next step in their educational lives, not really paying much attention to politics.      

By the time the Indiana 2011 legislative session began, I had that deer-in-the-headlights look.  Like many other educators from around the state, I was staring down the wave of the "education reform" tsunami.  I felt threatened and unappreciated.  Apparently, I'd been failing my students all these years.  Since the fall of 2010, I had been studying the language of the proposed legislation, then I'd send links to the bills to my colleagues.  I began writing and meeting with my legislators, educating my friends and family, and even started a public education Facebook page, all in an effort to raise awareness.   The more bills I found, the more out of control it all seemed.

At some point I stopped to ask myself , "When did our legislators turn crazy?  Why are they attacking us?  Where did this divisive legislation come from?"  At that point, I started.....connecting the dots.    I'm a science person.   It's in my nature to trace things to their origin, to dissect things, to look at the parts of the sum and the sum of the parts.   As traced the genesis of much of the reform legislation, I'd arrive at one place........... ALEC.

Who is ALEC?

So, who.... is ALEC?  At  the time,  I didn't know.   However, today, I feel like I know them well.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a group of conservative state lawmakers, former conservative state lawmakers, and corporate lobbyists from member corporations and special interest groups.  They meet to discuss, revise, and adopt "business-friendly" model legislation they wish to pass at the state level, pushing their conservative agenda "one statehouse at a time" (Bill Moyers).   Lawmakers pay membership dues, $100 for two years, while corporations pay tens of thousands of dollars to join ALEC.    So, why would corporations pay an exorbitant amount of money to join this organization?   Simple, they want access to state legislators and they can skirt around state lobbying laws by meeting with ALEC-member legislators at ALEC-sponsored events.   How?   Well, ALEC is classified as a 501(c)(3)
 "charitable organization" by the IRS, meaning it enjoys tax exempt status, and therefore agrees that its activities are not "attempting to influence legislation."   


"To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates." (  

However, one would have a hard time finding any conservative legislation, which hasn't been influenced by this "charitable organization".    ALEC is also exempt from Indiana's lobbying laws, as language in IC-2-7-1-10 provides that they are not lobbyists (  

ALEC's own bylaws outlines that its mission is to, "[d]isseminate model legislation and promote the introduction of companion bills in Congress and state legislatures" and "[f]ormulate legislative action programs."   Today, finding an ALEC-inspired bill or law would be like standing on a beach and throwing a rock into the ocean.  It's hard to miss.   There is good reason for that.  As I pointed out in a recent conversation with Rep. Heath VanNatter (R-38), the Indiana General Assembly "carpet bombed" the legislature with ALEC-authored legislation and this tactic started in 2011.   Consider the strategy outlined in ALEC's 2010 Report Card on American Education: Ranking State K-12 Performance, Progress, and Reform:

Across the country for the past two decades, education reform efforts have popped up in legislatures at different times in different places. As a result, teachers’ unions have been playing something akin to “whack-a-mole” — you know the game — striking down as many education reform efforts as possible. Many times, the unions successfully “whack” the “mole,” i.e., the reform legislation. Sometimes, however, they miss. If all the moles pop up at once, there is no way the person with the mallet can get them all. Introduce comprehensive reform packages. (Ladner, LeFevre, & Lips, 2010, p. 108)

Free Cigars, Free Vacations, and Free Legislation

Here's where it gets interesting.   So, what actually takes place at ALEC's "charity events", known as Taskforce Meetings or Taskforce Summits?   Their main shin digs are referred to as "Taskforce Meetings" and they're typically held twice a year.    However, in February 2012, ALEC hosted a special meeting, an "Education Reform Academy" at the swanky 5-start Ritz-Carlton Resort on Amelia Island, Florida.   At these meetings, ALEC Taskforce member legislators are introduced to "model bills" that have been authored by corporations and special interest groups.   Taskforces are comprised of  legislators and corporations who, behind closed doors, discuss, revise, and adopt model legislation.   Following its adoption, a board member (such as Indiana State Sen. Jim Buck) approves the vote. 

In other words, legislators are receiving ALEC-crafted legislation then bringing it back to the state of Indiana to pass as law, affecting all Hoosiers!  That's where nearly all of the education reform legislation comes from.  Of course, our conservative state lawmakers defend the legislation by claiming it's "all about the kids."

So, what?   Like I mentioned, most of the education reform bills which have been signed into law over the past two years, as well as much of the legislation which is being considered this session, can be traced back to ALEC.

Virtual schools

Charter schools expansion


Prohibiting payroll deductions of union dues

Merit pay

Alternative teacher certification ( REPA II)

I-Read 3

Private school tax credit

Ending teacher tenure

Exempting charter schools from state regulations applied to public schools

Teacher "bonuses"

It's tough not to connect the dots.   An elephant has arrived in my classroom and I can't help but walk straight into it (pun intended).

Not only do conservative lawmakers receive model bills, but ALEC pays for two nights of luxury hotel accommodations for those that are Taskforce members, reimburses their travel expenses, and provides a state "scholarship" slush fund to reimburse other expenses.   Wisconsin State Representative Mark Pocan (D) attended an ALEC Taskforce meeting (New Orleans 2011) and reported on the silver platter cigar socials, complete with free food and free drinks for lawmakers, all sponsored by ALEC and paid for by member corporations. 

Additionally, with a little investigation at you will find that ALEC corporations are also filling the campaign coffers of conservative lawmakers.   For example, K12 Inc., the Virginia virtual school corporation, which manages 2 of the 7 failing charter schools sponsored by Ball State University,  donated tens of thousands to Indiana ALEC legislators from 2006 to 2012 in an effort to push legislation establishing virtual schools (On the following table, click on K12 for each year to see a breakdown of that year).    

Connections Academy, a Private Sector Education Taskforce Member (meaning they vote on legislation), helped author and adopt ALEC's Virtual Public Schools Act then donated tens of thousands of dollars to Indiana ALEC member legislators.  

Both corporations, filled the campaign coffers of Tony Bennett, Brian Bosma, Robert Behning, Luke Kenley, Dennis Kruse, Mitch Daniels, David Long, among others (all ALEC Republicans).

"Model" legislation, the Virtual Public Schools Act was presented at an Education Taskforce meeting on December 4, 2004.   This act provides students and families the choice of using virtual schools to "further the education" of their children.  As mentioned, model legislation was authored by K12 Inc. and Connections Academy.   Ms. Mickey Revenaugh, a lobbyist for Connections Academy, now co-chairs the education policy–writing department of ALEC.  As the corporate chair of ALEC’s Education Task Force, Revenaugh, along with Lisa Gillis (K-12 Inc.), created the bill.

*( is the full site if links don't work properly)


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Connecting the Dots:

This week Hoosier Voices guest writer, Heath Johnson of Hoosier Educators in Support of Public Education, addresses ALEC and its Indiana connections.  This will be a 3 part blog appearing Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Take time to understand ALEC, who they are, and how they opperate nationwide and in Indiana.

Click the Part you wish to read below.

PART 1 - Monday, March 18, 2013

PART 2 - Tuesday, March 19, 2013

PART 3 - Wednesday, March 20, 2013