ALEC, Trayvon Martin, CCA’s private prisons, and charter schools?

What’s the connection between the Florida law that’s letting the killer of Trayvon Martin hide, the private prisons CCA runs in Georgia and other states, and HB 797, the Georgia charter schools bill that’s on the floor today for Senate debate today? ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Paul Krugman wrote yesterday for the NYTimes, Lobbyists, Guns and Money,

ALEC seems, however, to have a special interest in privatization — that is, on turning the provision of public services, from schools to prisons, over to for-profit corporations. And some of the most prominent beneficiaries of privatization, such as the online education company K12 Inc. and the prison operator Corrections Corporation of America, are, not surprisingly, very much involved with the organization.

What this tells us, in turn, is that ALEC’s claim to stand for limited government and free markets is deeply misleading. To a large extent the organization seeks not limited government but privatized government, in which corporations get their profits from taxpayer dollars, dollars steered their way by friendly politicians. In short, ALEC isn’t so much about promoting free markets as it is about expanding crony capitalism.

And in case you were wondering, no, the kind of privatization ALEC promotes isn’t in the public interest; instead of success stories, what we’re getting is a series of scandals. Private charter schools, for example, appear to deliver a lot of profits but little in the way of educational achievement.

Same as private prisons. The only real benefit goes to private prison company executives and shareholders.
Think about that: we seem to be turning into a country where crony capitalism doesn’t just waste taxpayer money but warps criminal justice, in which growing incarceration reflects not the need to protect law-abiding citizens but the profits corporations can reap from a larger prison population.
Martin Luther King Jr. wrote from a Birmingham jail in 1963:
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
And today we have an organized threat to justice everywhere. That threat is called ALEC.

-jsq

1 thought on “ALEC, Trayvon Martin, CCA’s private prisons, and charter schools?

  1. Fannie Jackson

    I could use quite a few verbs, adjectives, nouns to describe my year with K-12 and NONE of those would be complimentary. Public funds are used to the pay salaries plus all other expenses for this privilege to freely HOME SCHOOL a child. The lead educator is the LEARNING COACH (who is the stay-at-home relative).If I had wanted to be a TEACHER, I would have chosen an education career. Bottom line-slick way to divert public funds for private profit..And now those kids can participate in public school sports. All those voices that rose up to defeat Lowndes-Valdosta Consolidation should RUN-not WALK to stop the PRIVATIZATION of PUBLIC EDUCATION in Georgia!Checking to see where Amy Carter, Ron Borders, Jay Shaw and other POLITICIANS stand on this issue. Been out of loop for a minute..Trying to make up for lost time with K-12..I am sure someone will update me. Thank you for your advocacy.

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