A recent Huffington Post article berates the Koch brothers for funding a nonprofit that teaches low-income students basic economic principles.
Entitled “Koch High: How the Koch Brothers Are Buying Their Way into the Minds of Public School Students,” the article describes the yearlong course which offers lessons in introductory economics and entrepreneurial skills. It is run by the nonprofit Youth Entrepreneurs, funded primarily by the Koch brothers.
But the primary purpose of the program, according to the article, is not to help students learned about business. Rather, the goal is “to impart Koch’s radical free-market ideology to teenagers.”
The focus on high-school students, the reporters explain, “is a key part of the Kochs’ long-term effort to create a libertarian-minded society from the ground up.”
The program is targeted specifically at youth in low-income school districts, and YE pays for all program costs in districts where at least 40 percent of kids are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. It also provides students with startup capital and scholarships after graduation.
To the horror of the authors, more than 1,000 students in Kansas and Missouri took the “radical” course last year.
Lesson plans and class materials that the reporters obtained “make the course’s message clear: The minimum wage hurts workers and slows economic growth. Low taxes and less regulation allow people to prosper.”
The article notes that the Koch brothers have in recent years “funneled” tens of millions of dollars to colleges and universities through private charitable foundations. But this course is the “most direct example of their growing imprint on American classrooms.”