Sunday, July 27, 2014

Youth Entrepreneurs brings market to high schools

Koch High: How The Koch Brothers Are Buying Their Way Into The Minds Of Public School Students - Christina Wilkie & Joy Resmovits, Huffington Post:

July 16, 2014 - "The official mission of Youth Entrepreneurs is to provide kids with 'business and entrepreneurial education and experiences that help them prosper and become contributing members of society.' The underlying goal of the program, however, is to impart Koch's radical free-market ideology to teenagers.....

"Lesson plans and class materials obtained by The Huffington Post make the course's message clear: The minimum wage hurts workers and slows economic growth. Low taxes and less regulation allow people to prosper. Public assistance harms the poor. Government, in short, is the enemy of liberty.

"[T]he current structure of the program began to take shape in November 2009, documents show, when a team of associates at the Charles G. Koch Foundation launched an important project with Charles Koch's blessing: They would design and test what they called 'a high school free market and liberty-based course' with support from members of the Koch family's vast nonprofit and political network....

"Charles Koch founded Youth Entrepreneurs in 1991 with his wife, Elizabeth Koch, who serves as chairman of the group's board.... But the Kochs have renewed their focus on YE in recent years, pumping millions of dollars into it.... In 2007, YE reported assets of just over $450,000. In 2012, its assets topped $1.45 million.....

"During the 2012-2013 school year, YE's credit-bearing class reached more than 1,000 students in 29 schools in Kansas and Missouri, according to the group's annual report. Vernon Birmingham, YE's director of curriculum and teacher support, told HuffPost that the course will be in 42 schools in the coming school year. An offshoot in Atlanta, YE Georgia, reported being in 10 schools in the 2011-2012 school year. Since 2012, YE has also launched three major new initiatives: an online version of its course, an affiliate program to help rural schools access the class, and an after-school program, YE Academy, which served more than 500 students in its first year."

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