Bill of Rights Institute

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The Bill of Rights Institute, established in September 1999 by the Charles G. Koch Foundation,[1] is a Virginia based nonprofit launched by Koch Family Foundations that promotes a teaching a conservative interpretation of the Constitution in schools.[2] According to, "The group says it has provided materials to more than 2 million students and published 16 curricula for elementary, middle and high schools on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and historical Supreme Court decisions, among other topics."[3]

The Bill of Rights Institute claims that its "mission is to educate young people about the words and ideas of America's Founders."[4]

Koch Wiki

The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.

The Bill of Rights Institute receives grants from Charles Koch Foundation, Fred and Mary Koch Foundation, and the David H. Koch all of which are branches of Koch Family Foundations.[5] Grants from the Koch Family Foundations and its subsidiaries fund BRI seminars in Kansas and summer conferences in Washington D.C. that train teachers in government and the constitution.[6]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

The Bill of Rights Institute has ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). It has been a member of ALEC's Education Task Force. According to an August 2013 ALEC board document obtained by The Guardian, the Institute terminated its ALEC membership on April 16, 2013.[7]

In 2010, the American Legislative Exchange Council developed a bill called the Founding Principles Act which, "would require during the high school years the teaching of a semester-long course on the philosophical understandings and the founders’ principles."[8] The bill was sponsored by Harold Brubaker, an Asheboro Republican and ex-House speaker, and Don Vaughan, a Greensboro Democrat, (both have ALEC ties) and passed by the General Assembly in North Carolina in 2011.[9] Among the resources the State Superintendent of Public Instruction included for curriculum development was the Bill of Rights Institute[10]

About ALEC
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, and check out breaking news on our site.


Board of Directors

As of June 2014 members of the board of directors were:[7]


As of June 2014, staff members were:[8]

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

External Resources


  1. Bill of Rights Institute, "History of the Institute," organizational website, accessed December 2013.
  2. Jane Mayer, "Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama," The New Yorker, August 30, 2010, p. 5.
  3. Indy Week [1], U.S. History According to Charles Koch, Billy Ball, February 27, 2013, accessed June 11, 2014
  4. Bill of Rights Institute, About Us: Mission & Vision, organizational website, accessed December 2013.
  5. Koch Family Foundations and Philanthropy[2], accessed May 11, 2014
  6. Koch Family Foundations and Philanthropy[3], accessed May 11, 2014
  7. American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC 40th Anniversary Annual Meeting Board Meeting packet, organizational documents, August 6, 2013, released by The Guardian December 3, 2013.
  8. ALEC [4], approved June 3, 2010, accessed June 11, 2014.
  9. North Carolina General Assembly [5], 2011-2012 session, accessed June 11, 2014
  10. Indy Week [6], U.S. History According to Charles Koch, Billy Ball, February 27, 2013, accessed June 11, 2014
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