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Betsy DeVos presents at the ALEC Conference: Just one more example of how the Neo-Liberal Education model is being promoted by the US Secretary of Education

December 10, 2019

Last week, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) hosted their annual States & Nation Policy Summit.

The ALEC policy summit was held in Arizona and featured speakers who fit their long-term agenda, which is to transform state and federal policy that furthers Neo-Liberalism. You can see this reflected in their agenda, which features speakers and facilitated workshops on areas that have been part of the ALEC agenda for decades. You can see if the graphic below the ALEC agenda and which think tanks/groups are involved in each area. Notice that Fiscal policy and Education policy have the largest number of groups working on those respective areas.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that US Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, was one of the featured speakers at this years ALEC policy summit. As we have documented in previous Betsy DeVos Watch articles, the Secretary of Education spends a great deal of her time speaking to organizations that embrace the Neo-Liberal Education Model. 

DeVos delievred a speech, no doubt written by her staff, a speech which begins with this statement: 

It’s good to be with so many friends and leaders shaping policy across all 50 states. For more than 30 years, state-initiated solutions to intractable issues were my primary focus—and they still are. States are where the action is—or, at least, where it should be.

In the rest of DeVos’ speech, she using standard content from the Neo-Liberal playbook,  arguing states rights, choice, the market-place of ideas and even attempting to use language such as, “We the People.” One aspect of the Neo-Liberal playbook is to convince people that whatever policy the right wants to promote is all about freedom and liberty. In addition, one other major theme is to attack the federal government. This message has been central to every administration since Ronald Reagan, even though the Neo-Liberal agenda is not always against the Federal Government. For instance, entities like ALEC or the State Policy Network a deeply in favor of government intervention and policy when it comes to the annual US military budget, tax policies that benefit the wealthy and massive subsidies for corporations. Thus, the Neo-Liberal Agenda is quite selective in their notion of choice and freedom, especially when it comes to policies that benefit the Capitalist Class.

Betsy DeVos continued this theme in a brief interview she did with ALEC TV. Pay close attention to the language used in the questions and the language used by DeVos, which is all right out of the Neo-Liberal Agenda playbook.

Lastly, Betsy DeVos was at the ALEC policy summit to make sure that those attending the gathering were committed to getting her Education Freedom Scholarships adopted. The Education Freedom Scholarships are another example of promoting a Neo-Liberal Education Model, since they allow for individuals and corporations to contribute funds to private & charter schools and then claim it as a tax write-off. This also makes the Education Freedom Scholarships policy just another way for those in the Capitalist class to transfer public money to private interests, which is the foundation of the Neo-Liberal Agenda.

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