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David Sirota reports that billionaire Stephen Schwarzman told a high-level audience of business and government leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that schools don’t need more money. He suggested that they could improve by enlisting unpaid labor, like retirees, to tutor children.
“DAVOS, Switzerland — Private equity investor Stephen Schwarzmann is generally a believer in the power of money, a trait that has netted him billions of dollars worth of that useful commodity. But when it comes to education, Schwarzman says more money is not necessarily a fix for ailing American public schools.”
““I’ve always wondered, what you do in a society with people who just retire,” he told conference attendees. “If you could get those people, like a board, [to be an] unpaid workforce, pay them next to nothing or nothing, and have them go into the school system to be mentors to kids, and be an example of a certain type of success that you would get dramatically different outcomes. If you can get unemployed people that cost nothing, that can have this dramatic difference, that costs nothing. I love things that cost nothing that have great results. Imagine if you laid on technology and other types of things, you could really set the world on fire with this type of stuff.”
“Schwarzman’s firm recently touted its investment in an expanding private education company. Yet, more than a third of Blackstone’s entire investment pool is comprised of money from public pension plans — that is, the retirement money of government employees like public school teachers.”