Kochs Off Campus! is a grassroots group of Tucson residents, UA faculty, alumni, and students working to get the University of Arizona to sever all ties to the “Center for the Philosophy of Freedom” (AKA the “Freedom Center”) as well as the Center’s new Department of Political Economy and Moral Science.
The UA “Freedom Center” was inaugurated in 2008 with millions of dollars from the Charles Koch Foundation and Koch allies, but it has also been supported with millions of dollars in Arizona tax money. The “Freedom Center” is a right-wing Libertarian think tank that is distorting education to fit its ideology and recruiting students to advance its agenda. Kochs Off Campus! opposes this undue influence of right-wing money on public education, as well as public subsidies for the so-called “freedom schools” and their activities within the public education system.
We are committed to:
- Defending Public Education from the Kochs and their Network
- Educating the Public about the Negative Effects of the Koch Network on Public Education
Defending Public Education from the Kochs and their Donor Network!
WHAT WE’VE DONE
- Got the Freedom Center’s textbook and course out of TUSD
- Got Amphi USD to stop using the textbook and course (for now)
- Got the University of Arizona [UA] to review the Freedom Center
- Got documents damaging to the Freedom Center via public records requests
- Got the UA Faculty Senate to hear testimony about the Freedom Center’s improprieties
- Organized a forum about the Freedom Center attended by 150 people on UA campus in April 2018
- Organized a public event with Outlaw Dirty Money at National Association of Letter Carriers union hall in March 2019
WHAT WE’RE DOING
- Investigating content of “Take Charge Today,” national “financial literacy” program now owned by the Freedom Center
- Pressuring UA administration to release its review of Freedom Center
- Ascertaining whether public school districts in Maricopa County etc are using the Freedom Center textbook and course (big job!!)
- Monitoring the UA Dept of Political Economy and Moral Science [PEMS] and the Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law [PPEL] major, both created and/or controlled by the Freedom Center
WHAT WE HOPE TO DO
- Get other public school districts (especially in the Tucson area) to drop the Freedom Center course and textbook
- Get the line items for millions in taxpayer money for the “freedom schools” at UA, ASU, and NAU out of the AZ state budget
- Get our public universities to oust the “freedom schools” from their campuses
Educating the Public:
WHAT WE’VE DONE
- Written dozens of informational flyers and three-folds and distributed thousands of them
- Disseminated further information via this website and through social media
- Written press releases, LTEs, op-eds
- Tabled and/or spoke at rallies, community gatherings, political meetings, etc.
- Honk-and-waves on Tucson street corners
- Worked with local news media to get the word out
WHAT WE’RE DOING
- Currently scheduling appearances at meetings of local groups
- Organizing a FORUM on Koch state capture which will take place on Nov. 16
- Monthly general meetings open to the public
How We are Organizing and Growing:
KOC! recently chose a board of directors and incorporated; our 501(c)(3) application is pending at the IRS. We work closely with the national anti-Koch group, UnKoch My Campus, and with faculty activists at ASU. We hope to help organize a coalition in AZ against the ongoing, all-too-successful projects of the Koch donor network. To put it bluntly, we the AZ public are getting rolled. The enemy is well-organized, well-funded, and relentless, and we have a lot of work to do if we’re going to turn the tide.