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ERIC Number: EJ1169353
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1931-6569
Hoosier Lawmaker? Vouchers, ALEC Legislative Puppets, and Indiana's Abdication of Democracy
Shaffer, Michael B.; Ellis, John G.; Swensson, Jeff
AASA Journal of Scholarship & Practice, v14 n4 p4-17 Win 2018
"Getting poor kids out of failing schools" sounds like an altruistic cause most Americans support. However, one policy mechanism utilized to achieve that result, parental choice vouchers, has a checkered past. This descriptive analysis explores the policy-bubble created when state legislators eschewed their constitutional responsibility as noted in Article 8 of the Indiana Constitution: "to provide, by law, for a general and uniform system of Common Schools, wherein tuition shall without charge, and equally open to all" (Indiana Constitution, 1851). This article delves into the impact of the strong working relationship between Indiana and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and the impact of that partnership on choice options in education. Despite multiple early promises, Indiana's voucher program no longer emphasizes enrollment of lower income students, no longer strives for improved student achievement, and no longer reduces government and its costs. The purpose of this article is to trace the philosophical roots, political interconnections, and sleight-of-hand that undergirds the interaction of ALEC, vouchers, and state government.
AASA, The School Superintendent's Association. 1615 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indiana
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A