Bill Gates just put in an appearance on CNN. While listening to Fareed Zakaria talk about the billions Bill Gates’ foundation pumps into causes overseas, I wondered if Mr. Gates has any awareness of the educational needs of inner-city kids in Los Angeles, Chicago and Baltimore.
I wonder if he knows that schools were closed this winter in the Baltimore area because the heating systems were old and couldn’t keep the classrooms warm or the critical need for multi-lingual teachers in Los Angeles or that during the first weekend of this year four people were killed and fifteen others wounded on the streets of Chicago? I wonder if he understands the role education, extra-curricular activities and paying teachers a living wage all play in keeping our big cities healthy and the country moving forward?
Gates said that $3 billion* was a small percentage of his foundation’s budget. I wonder what the Baltimore city schools could do with just a couple of billion dollars? Keep the heat turned on possibly and maybe give their teachers a raise while funneling a couple of million into sports and the arts to help keep kids off the streets?
The old phrase about charity beginning at home popped into my head.
*He may have said $30 billion. He throws big numbers around so casually, that it’s sometimes difficult to relate.