|Stephen A. Schwarzman, chief executive of Blackstone, and Mary Barra, chief executive of General Motors, with President Trump at a Strategy and Policy Forum meeting in February. Al Drago/The New York Times|
A friend of President Trump, Schwarzman graduated from Abington (PA) Senior High School in 1965, and 40 years later, in 2005, donated $400,000 so the school’s football stadium could be renamed for him.
Billionaires have been involved for years in education, donating parts of their fortunes to schools and to education initiatives, raising objections from advocates who believe the wealthy should not be allowed to use their money to influence the conduct of public education.
But Schwarzman had more than a giant tax break in mind this time around, when he offered his alma mater a $25 million "gift". He also demanded the following in return:
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
“When you’re that rich and giving those level of gifts, you’re really used to getting what you want,” said Maria Di Mento, a staff writer and expert on big philanthropic donations at the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if this was all done without considering how bad it was going to look to outsiders,” Di Mento said. “This is a public school district. This is not Yale.”