The entertaining, stimulating, funny and seriously interesting “All-In” Podcast did a recent episode in which they lamented the damage Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID school lockdowns have done to California’s children. This interesting group of four “besties,” Chamath Palihapitiya, Jason Calacanis, David Sacks and David Friedberg, is made up of tech investors, former Google, AOL, Paypal and Facebook executives, venture capitalists, angel investors, engineers, writers, a former Gubernatorial candidate, and even the “Queen of Quinoa.”
On the Dec. 29th podcast E61: 2022 Predictions! Business, politics, science, tech, crypto… right around the 57 minute mark, Jason Calacanis drops this big one: “School choice is a topic worth fighting over – particularly after two years of damage done to all of our kids. These are the things that really matter.”
The group talks about the strategy needed to solve what was done to the kids and the subsequent mental health and IQ damage during the pandemic. “What is the strategy to solve what we did to these kids?” Calacanis asks. “We need entrepreneurial ideas. If we’re going to spend all of this money on Build Back Better… how about we build back the fucking 20 lost IQ points that these kids have and then we do something about the depression and anxiety they have,” he added.
“Hallelujah, hallelujah,” Palihapitiya adds.
“We’re never going to get there because the teachers unions won’t even acknowledge that learning loss exists” Sacks says. “I think we need to break the teachers unions,” Calacanis added. “Period. Full stop.”
“Let me make a prediction in that regard. There’s going to be a ballot initiative, in California, for school choice,” Sacks says. “There’s something like $13,000 per pupil spent in California. There’s going to be an initiative that says any parent can send their kids to any accredited school in California and get a voucher from the state. That’s going to be on the ballot, and I predict it will be the big, big election in California, and maybe the nation next year, And, maybe more than $100 million will be spent on both sides of that thing.”
It’s evident if they knew California actually spends around $22,000 per year for each child in the K-12 public school system, they’d be cheesed off.
“Competition! Let’s go!” Calacanis cheered. “If there is no competition, things do not get better. These school unions are complacent.”
They talk about the school choice ballot initiative, and say they should financially back it. “Let’s make a New Years resolution, because I think we all agree on this. It’s going to happen,” Sacks said.
“I’m in,” Chamath Palihapitiya said. “I’m in, let’s put some money behind this,” Calacanis added.
This caught the ear of Ric Grenell, former Director of National Intelligence, former Ambassador to Germany, and founder of “Fix California,” which is currently collecting signatures for a a school choice ballot initiative titled “The Education Savings Account Act of 2022” to offer school choice to California’s K-12 students.
“The All-In podcast is wildly popular and a must view for today’s culture,” Grenell told the Globe. “We are grateful that they see the school choice issue as a priority reform effort.”
Chamath Palihapitiya, Jason Calacanis, David Sacks and David Friedberg even lambaste the media for not reporting on the damage done to children, as well as largely ignoring the parents confronting schools boards over these issues.
Calacanis said with school choice, five parents can take the $13,000 and put it together and hire a teacher for $65,000. “They can do a better job for those five kids and a teacher,” he said.
Palihapitiya said he went into the pandemic with rules about devices for his kids, rules about how much time was allowed online, and rules about physical fitness. “It all went out the window,” he said, blaming Zoom conferences and haphazard schedules. “Then it became an addiction – hours and hours.”
“We need to hold educators, teachers, school boards around the country accountable to fix this,” Palihapitiya said. “This will be a major theme for next year. But they’ll never do it without competition.”
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