AFT Resolution

OPPOSITION TO THE ALEC AND ALEC EDUCATION AGENDA

WHEREAS, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a private and privately funded collaborative of businesses that work in carefully guarded secrecy with selected state legislators and national leaders to draft and lobby business-friendly legislation, which is often introduced to states word for word as drafted by ALEC, and without notifying voters of their source; and

WHEREAS, ALEC’s members are actively promoting the funding of for-profit “virtual schools” at the same level as brick-and-mortar schools, virtual schools from which their members would profit; and

WHEREAS, ALEC’s members support privatization of public schools through vouchers, tuition tax credits, and charters, with the potential for their corporate profit from these structures; and

WHEREAS, ALEC’s draft legislation calls for curriculum that essentially ignores scientific findings regarding climate change and insists on action as if there were no evidence of climate change, curriculum which supports their corporate positions designed to maximize their profits; and

WHEREAS, ALEC has threatened academic freedom on several levels with its “Academic Bill of Rights” to “English Fluency Among Lecturers in State Institutions,” and “Intellectual Diversity Act” that attack higher education faculty’s use of professional judgment and professor-student dialogue; and

WHEREAS, ALEC members have taken extreme anti-union positions and have promoted legislation that would end union rights including but not limited to dues deductions, fair share, and even collective bargaining, and have urged reduction or elimination of pensions and pension security for public employees; and

WHEREAS, ALEC is deeply represented within state capitals across the country, with an average of 24 percent of legislators holding ALEC membership, according to ALEC’s own internal documents; and

WHEREAS, Common Cause has requested the investigation of ALEC’s classification as a Section 501(c)(3) charitable organization; and

WHEREAS, major corporate sponsors have ended their ALEC membership in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting death in Florida, a tragedy that shed light on the state’s Stand Your Ground Law—legislation that was later turned into ALEC’s model Castle Doctrine Act:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers, its members and affiliates go on record in opposition to ALEC’s education agenda; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT support a campaign to actively oppose ALEC’s agenda, a campaign that includes but is not limited to informing union members about ALEC, and encouraging their involvement in sharing with other voters this information and the reasons for our opposition; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will support and participate in efforts to remove ALEC’s tax-exempt status, and require legislators to report their membership in and receipt of any direct or indirect financial support, including travel, dues, per diems, scholarships, grants and similar payments from or on behalf of ALEC.

(2014)

Please note that a newer resolution, or portion of a resolution, may have superseded an earlier resolution on the same subject. As a result, with the exception of resolutions adopted at our most recent AFT convention, resolutions do not necessarily reflect current AFT policies.