DeVos and Alliance for School Choice: Where the Ultimate “Choice” Means Vouchers to Private Schools
For the past few years, I have been receiving mailers from Washington, DC-based, Alliance for School Choice (AFSC).
Alliance for School Choice is a nonprofit that promotes a particular kind of choice: publicly-funded vouchers to private schools.
The goal of these mailers is to get me to “enroll my child in a private school FOR FREE!”, thereby “put[ting]” my child “on the road to a better education!”
If I do not do so, I could be “letting” my child “get left behind.”
According to AFSC’s 2014 tax form (the most recent on file as of this writing), Michigan billionaire and voucher lover, Betsy DeVos, is AFSC chair.
Also noted on the AFSC tax form is that DeVos’ American Federation for Children (AFC) is the lobbying nonprofit associated with AFSC.
In fact, in a 2013 Philanthropy Roundtable interview, DeVos discusses her connection with AFSC and AFC:
The late John Walton and Dick started up what was then called All Children Matter, a 527 political organization, which I chaired. A number of other school-choice supporters also worked very closely with the Alliance for School Choice, a 501(c)(3), to educate the public about the need for greater educational choice. But it didn’t feel like a cohesive enough effort. Successful advocacy requires coordinating a lot of moving parts: identifying potential legislators, educating them about the issue, getting them elected, helping them craft and pass legislation, and then, once the laws are passed, helping them with implementing the programs to ensure they work for children.We took a long, hard look at ourselves and determined that we could do this in a much smoother manner. It was clear that we needed a more cohesive effort. So a few years ago, we reorganized a number of the key players. We formed the American Federation for Children as a 501(c)(4). It is the umbrella organization that is affiliated with the Alliance for School Choice—still a (c)(3)—and AFC’s political action committee, the American Federation for Children Action Fund.
In 2014, AFSC’s total revenue was $9.2 million.
In 2014, AFSC spent $4 million trying to entice parents to use public money to send children to private schools:
CONDUCT MARKETING AND ADVERTISING PROGRAMS PROMOTING EDUCATIONAL CHOICE PROGRAMS BY TARGETING ELIGIBLE FAMILIES TO RAISE AWARENESS OF AND INCREASE PARTICIPATION IN EXISTING PRIVATE SCHOOL CHOICE PROGRAMS AVAILABLE TO THOSE FAMILIES IN THEIR RESPECTIVE STATES SERVE AS AN ADVOCATE FOR ELIGIBLE FAMILIES WITH THE GOVERNMENT ENTITIES ADMINISTERING PUBLICLY-FUNDED PRIVATE SCHOOLDeVos and Alliance for School Choice: Where the Ultimate “Choice” Means Vouchers to Private Schools | deutsch29: