ALEC’s Legislative Agenda on Higher Education
Learn more about the campaign | The Top 10 Things you Didn’t Know About Sallie Mae | Sallie Mae: Buying Influence at What Cost? | The Student Debt Cliff
Sallie Mae is supposed to be in the business of making education a reality. Instead the company profiteers off its student borrowers by granting risky loans with high interest rates. And now the nation’s largest private student loan lender has done the unthinkable – it joined ALEC.
Through its ALEC membership, Sallie Mae is throwing money at politicians to ensure the entire higher education system benefits its bottom line. Look at the model legislation below to find out how.
[dropshadowbox align=”left” effect=”lifted-both” width=”200px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]ALEC’s higher education legislation is crafted by its Education Task Force. Until recently, the task force was chaired by a private education corporation. ALEC legislation promotes an extreme ideology in public universities and supports the for-profit institutions of higher education that gouge working students. Their model bills make voting harder for students and stifle academic debate.
At ALEC’s 2012 States & Nation Policy Summit, Sallie Mae—the student lending giant that has been scrutinized for its predatory lending and questionable debt collection practices—held a session titled “Best Practices for Debt Collection and Tax Amnesty.”
ALEC’s Resolution in Support of Private Sector Colleges and Universities proclaims support of for-profit education institutions and opposes the “gainful employment” regulation that would help stop predatory lending by for-profit colleges.
ALEC’s College Opportunity Fund Act would provide taxpayer-funded vouchers to for-profit and religious higher education institutions.
ALEC’s “Campus Personal Protection Act” would force universities to allow students to possess guns on campus. In 2011 alone, 23 states introduced some form of this legislation.
ALEC’s Voter ID Act is part of a broader effort to make it harder for five million Americans—particularly students, minorities and the elderly—to vote.
ALEC’s Intellectual Diversity in Higher Education Act and Academic Bill of Rights for Public Higher Education Act would prevent faculty from using their professional judgment and create a chilling effect on teaching and academic debate by imposing “balance” on campus events and faculty teachings.
ALEC’s Act to Ensure English Fluency among Lecturers in State Institutions of Higher Education (ALEC now says this bill no longer “fits within ALEC principles”) requires state institutions of higher education to evaluate for fluency in the English language and imposes penalties for noncompliance.
ALEC’s Drug-Free Post-Secondary Education Act (ALEC now says this bill no longer “fits within ALEC principles”) requires all higher education institutions to suspend for one semester (or quarter) any student convicted of any drug offense. The Act further requires the suspension of state financial aid to students convicted of any drug offense.
ALEC’s College Savings Account Act would give tax exemptions for college savings accounts. This policy provides disproportionate help for wealthier families who save to fund their children’s college education.
ALEC’s Higher Education Transparency Act, Higher Education Performance Audit Act, and Academic Accountability in Higher Education Act impose regulations on colleges and universities that discourage a full, liberal arts curriculum from being available to students by mandating standardized tests for “core collegiate skills” and focusing on outcome-based evaluations for higher education institutions.