by Max Brantley
The Washington Post details the pivotal role of the American Legislative Exchange Council in shaping legislation in Virginia detrimental to conventional public schools — funneling state money to home schoolers through "virtual school" management corporations and giving tax credits (essentially vouchers) for children to attend private schools.
The same legislation has been offered with varying degrees of success. ALEC supporters in the Arkansas legislature naturally have been in the vanguard. ALEC is the creation of the Kochs and other fat cats. It produces cookie cutter legislation to estabish corporate policy dominance in the states.
ProgressVa published another report in 2012 that found more than 50 bills proposed in Virginia’s General Assembly that ALEC lobbied for or helped author in recent years, including measures on health care, voting rights, taxes, and education.
It also identified at least 115 current or former lawmakers with ties to the group, including House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) who was ALEC’s national chairman in 2009.
This influence has ben evident in Arkansas. Sen. Missy Irvin has even brought in ALEC to testify in person for her legislation against health reform.