yass

Billionaire Jeff Yass has ideas for Philadelphia schools that would restructure the system from the ground up.

Jeff Yass, the billionaire co-founder of Susquehanna Investment Group (SIG), announced at Philadelphia Magazine’s Thinkfest recently that he has an extraordinary idea for the city school system. The trader, who identifies as Libertarian and made most of his wealth winning at poker, addressed an issue that has long plagued the City of Brotherly Love: a perception of low-quality schooling. To wit, just 65% of enrolled high school seniors actually graduated in the 2015 school year.

yass

Billionaire Jeff Yass has ideas for Philadelphia schools that would restructure the system from the ground up.

Yass’s plan would dismantle and rebuild the school system from the ground up. While the school system currently spends $16,200 per child per year, Yass proposes that, instead, the city give each child $10,000 in a voucher to use towards the school of their choice. This would include public, private, or charter schools. Yass himself is a tremendous advocate of charter schools. His wife, Janine Yass, founded the charter school Boy’s Latin in West Philly. As a result of such a voucher program, the investor posits, schools would be climbing over each other trying to come in and create high-quality, diverse educational programs for children. “If your kid is a math kid, we’ll have math school. If your kid is an artist, we’ll have an art school. If your kid is a computer programmer, we will have a computer programming school. If your kid wants to get a job in the trades and wants to learn a real vocational skill, we are going to teach him how to get that vocational skill,” he was quoted as saying in HuffPo.

Additionally, under Yass’s plan, each child in each family would receive $6,000 per year for each of their 13 years (K-12) of schooling. The children’s families could invest this money in stocks or bonds and, by the time the child graduates high school, they would theoretically have enough money to attend college debt-free, to start their own business, or to do with as they liked. It would be a way of bringing Philadelphia into the future and making it a richer city, he explained.

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