The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the corporate front for right-wing “model” state legislation such as the right-to-work scam, is now working to politically indoctrinate America’s young people with a high school graduation requirement that promotes its extremist views.
The “Founding Philosophy and Principles Act,” a bill that ALEC has quietly pushed since 2010, would require high school students to pass a semester-long course on the “founding philosophy and principles” of the United States in order to graduate. That may sound like a harmless civics course, but the measure, which popped up in the legislature in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina (where it passed the Senate), has raised concerns among parents and teachers.
Lisa Lewis, an AFSCME Local 1644 member from Atlanta whose son will be a high school senior next year, says she is concerned about political indoctrination by ALEC. “ALEC’s beliefs are not what I want my child to be taught in school,” she said. “I would not like him to be taught a course on other people’s [political] morals and beliefs and then be held accountable to believe in those morals and beliefs in order to pass high school.
It’s apparently not enough for ALEC to go after the working class, now they’re going after the children,” Lewis said. “That’s not right.”
The legislation would require students to learn about the country’s founding philosophy and principles through the prism of ALEC’s own anti-government, anti-worker perspective by focusing on “constitutional limitations on government power to tax and spend and prompt payment of public debt” – essentially promoting the right-wing push for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The curriculum is designed to teach students to exercise “eternal vigilance” against any form of government spending, and to hold students accountable to espouse the belief that government spending is contrary to the principles of “a virtuous and moral people.”
In making a play for the minds and hearts of our schoolchildren, ALEC hopes to promote its own version of virtues and morality, which includes drastic cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, among other important social and economic programs.