Blackstone Group's CEO Says More Money Won't Improve Public Education
Despite the financial industry arguing that high pay on Wall Street is needed to retain and develop talent, Stephen Schwarzman, chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group, suggested a potential solution for America's education challenges could be unpaid labor.
“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 views run counter to those of other analysts. A study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research this month suggested otherwise, showing a strong link between education funding and education and economic outcomes. Based on almost five decades of data, the researchers found a 10 percent increase in per-student spending leads to more completed years of education, higher wages and a reduction in the incidence of adult poverty. Those results, concluded the study, are even “more pronounced for children from low-income families.”