As far as multi-billionaires go, Steve Schwarzman is not the most philanthropic. In 2006, his charitable foundation had less than $1,000 earmarked for charitable causes. Since then, he’s loosened the purse strings a bit, giving $100 million to the New York Public Library, another $100 million to start a Rhodes Scholarship-like program in his own name in China, and another $150 million to his famously needy and underfunded alma mater, Yale. Which, all told, is less than half of what he makes in a given year.
That last gift, however, got this particular pretty good but not great student thinking: People like him have been trying to take the “public” out of public education for years, led by his now-former colleague in the Trump administration, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. But rather than get into ugly public spats about things, why not just make them completely economically dependent on you, just like they did with the colleges. And what better place to demonstrate this than an already well-funded, high achieving public high school in an affluent suburb of Philadelphia that just happens to have a football stadium named for him?
Blackstone Group LP CEO Stephen Schwarzman is donating $25 million to his public high school in Abington, Pa., a move he said he hoped would inspire other wealthy individuals to step up to address public-school funding gaps….
“I’m going to talk to them about how you ask people to support something that’s very worthy, how to organize themselves, what it’s like to be rejected, how to have a conversation,” Mr. Schwarzman said. “It’s a learned behavior. These private schools and universities are really good at doing this….”
The Abington School District serves about 8,100 students north of Philadelphia. According to state and school-district data, its high school is high performing, with 86% of last year’s graduates indicating they would seek higher education.