Echoes of ALEC in Berger's speech

The dismantling of public schools continues:

We began the long process of retooling our public education system, to make it more focused on delivering positive results for our children...We will never back down from the effort to reform our public schools. No child should be forced to attend a failing school.

We've discussed ALEC's "Parent Trigger" before, but the group actually has several different cookie-cutter bills designed to shift resources from public schools to private. The tone and choice of Berger's words led me to this one, a roadmap for declaring schools educationally bankrupt:

Section 1. {Title.} This Act shall be known and be cited as the Education Accountability Act.

Section 2. {Purpose.} It is the purpose of this Act to maintain and improve the quality of elementary and secondary education in all schools in the state of [insert state]; to provide improved methods for measuring and assessing the quality of education in each school; and to provide for the delivery of effective educational services to children in schools where the quality of education is found to be substantially impaired.

One reason why Republicans refrained from introducing this in the last few years is the amount of influence the (State) Department of Education will have on the various criteria which will drive these determinations. But the end goals are pretty clear:

(A) The purpose of this Section is to enable children who attend or reside in the school attendance area of a local school district that is declared educationally bankrupt under Section 4(D) to benefit from educational services in educational settings other than the schools that they would normally attend.

(B) In order to achieve the purpose described in Subsection (A), the state department of education shall initiate and carry out a program in which the parent of each school-age child attending or residing in the school attendance area of a school that is declared educationally bankrupt under Section 4(D) receives from the state department of education, on request, a certificate that can be used for educational services at a participating school selected by the child's parent in accordance with this Section.

So the public schools (and teachers) are going to be under serious scrutiny, but what of the private schools? It's hands-off for them:

(H) Private schools shall be accorded maximum flexibility to educate their students and shall be free from unnecessary, burdensome, or onerous regulation. No regulation of private schools, certificate-redeeming or not, beyond that required by this legislation and which applied to private schools on [insert date] shall be issued or enacted, unless approved by three-fourths vote of the legislature or, alternatively, as to any regulation pertaining to health, safety, or land use imposed by any county, city, district, or subdivision of the state, a majority vote of qualified electors within the affected jurisdiction. In any legal proceeding challenging such a regulation as inconsistent with this Section, the governmental body issuing or enacting it shall have the burden of establishing that the regulation:

(1) is essential to assure the health, safety, or education of students;

(2) does not unduly burden private schools or the parents of students therein; and

(3) will not harass, impede, injure, or suppress private schools.

If anything remotely resembling this piece of crap legislation shows up either on the floor or in committee at the NCGA, we need to make sure the mainstream media covers it, and that they reference ALEC in the story.