Foundation for Excellence in Education
Learn more about corporations VOTING to rewrite our laws.
Learn more about how the State Policy Network aids ALEC and spins disinformation in the states.
The Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE) is a non-profit group founded by former Florida governor Jeb Bush in 2008 and headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida. The FEE describes themselves as, "working with decision makers on developing, adopting and implementing reform policies. We are a hands-on, how-to organization that provides model legislation, rule-making expertise, implementation strategies, and public outreach."
In 2010, the FEE reported a total annual revenue of $6,075,987.
Promoting corporate funders' interests and work with ALEC
Non profit group, In the Public Interest released e-mails in January 2013 revealing correspondence between the FEE and other Jeb Bush founded group, Chiefs for Change, which consists of former and current state education leaders who support Bushes conservative education reform goals. Education officials from Florida, New Mexico, Maine, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Louisiana are were involved. The e-mails reveal the FEE writing and editing laws, regulations, and executive orders on state education that benefit corporate donors' profit opportunities and closely resemble the American Legislative Exchange Council's education agenda. The FEE arranged "Chief for Change donor meetings" where education officials literally sat in with the corporations profiting from providing education materials and technologies that policies promote. Legislation edited by the FEE and originally written by ALEC which would eliminate class size caps and student-teacher ratios, allow public dollars to flow to online schools and classes and prevent local school districts from limiting access to virtual schools, has already been proposed in Maine. Other FEE written legislation in Florida has increased the use of a proprietary test which is provided by Pearson, an FEE donor. Louisiana Voice found,
- "FEE and ALEC also have many of the same “experts” who serve as members or staff employees and the two organizations also collaborate on the annual ALEC education “report card” which grades states’ allegiance to their policies."
Dave Myslinski, the FEE's State Policy Director for Digital Learning Now! (an operation of FEE), is also the Staff Director on ALEC's Education Task Force.
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.
- CEO, Patricia Levesque
- Executive Director of Digital Learning Now!, John Bailey
- State Policy Director for Digital Learning Now!, Dave Myslinski
- Executive Director of Chiefs for Change, Eric Smith
- National Director of Advocacy/Legislation, Josh Venable
- National Director of Policy/Implimentation, Mary Laura Bragg
- National Director of Communications, Jaryn Emhof
- Marketing Director, Erin Price
- Chief Development Officer, Fonda Anderson
- Cheif of Staff, Kay Kammel
- Chief Financial Officer, Carrie Jenkins
- Office Manager, Washington, DC, Elizabeth Emery
- Operations Manager, Sarah Powell
- Operations Manager for CEO, Susan Rehwinkel
To see complete team visit the website.
The FEE lists the following donors on their website:
- Bloomberg Philanthropies
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- The Broad Foundation
- Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation
- GE Foundation
- The Kovner Foundation
- The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
- Robertson Foundation
- Susan & Bill Oberndorf Foundation
- Walton Family Foundation
Foundation for Excellence in Education
P.O. Box 10691
Tallahassee, FL 32302
Phone: (850) 391-4090
Fax: (786) 664-1794
Resources and Articles
- Foundation for Excellence in Education, About Us, foundation website, accesses June 4th, 2013.
- GuideStar, GuideStar Quick Review, GuideStar, accessed June 4th, 2013.
- SPN FLorida, SPN website, accessed June 4th, 2013
- Nonprofit group releases emails which depict connection between ALEC, education reform and corporate investors, Louisiana Voice, January 30th, 2013.
- Donald Cohen, "Bush's Education Nonprofit and Corporate Profits", In the Public Interest, January 30th, 2013.
- Foundation for Excellence in Education, Team, FEE Website, accessed June 4th, 2013.
- FEE, Our Donors, foundation website, accessed June 5th, 2013.
- FEE Contact Us, foundation website, accessed June 4th, 2013.