Entrepreneurs Create Alternatives

One challenge America faces is the generations-long failure to give an adequate education to children in the country’s poorest neighborhoods. Failure begets failure in many urban school systems.

Two wealthy Americans— John Walton of the Walmart fortuneand New York investor Ted Forstmann —each contributed $50 million to create a new idea called the Children’s Scholarship Fund. The CSF is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary. The Fund has raised $741 million and provided scholarships to 166,000 students.

The Children’s Scholarship Fund subsidizes tuition at private schools or parochial schools run by the Catholic Church. It requires parents to contribute a few thousand dollars to the tuition cost, believing that commitment provides an incentive for active engagement in their children’s school life, a necessary element for student success.

Two wealthy entrepreneurs, one Protestant and one Catholic, saw it as their duty to create a solution that would help those less fortunate break out of the cycle of poverty. Their legacy includes having rescued tens of thousands of children from failing public schools that ruin so many lives year after depressing year. Both founders desired to take on the problem of underachieving inner-city kids by funding alternatives to the failing school system the government was making available to them.

In a day when some criticize the wealthy and demand that government force the redistribution of wealth, it is important to remember that those who have the ability to create wealth also have the ability create alternatives solutions.

Source: ‘I Don’t Believe That Anymore’…The Children’s Scholarship Fund has helped 166,000 poor kids in 20 years. The Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal. May 18, 2018

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