Uber investor accused of 'selfishness' after trying to hire the 'best teacher' for his kids

Money may not be able to buy you happiness but it can certainly buy you a very decent education.

With the coronavirus pandemic disrupting school schedules and lessons for millions of kids in America, some more well-off families are finding ways to minimise the impact on their children’s education.

Like angel investor Jason Calacanis, who is worth a reported $100m thanks to investments in companies like Uber and founding Inside.com and Weblogs.

Like many parents, Calacanis is clearly concerned about the schooling his kids are receiving during the pandemic.

Which is why he tweeted in search of a teacher to become a private tutor at a “microschool” for 4th-6th grade students.

“Looking for the best 4-6th grade teacher in Bay Area who wants a 1-year contract, that will beat whatever they are getting paid, to teach 2-7 students in my back yard,” he tweeted, adding:

If you know this teacher, refer them & we hire them, I will give you a $2k UberEats gift card.

What is a microschool? Calacanis defines it as two to seven students but for all intents and purposes it appears to be homeschooling, rebranded.

And the Silicon Valley investor doesn't just want any old teacher for his kids. He wants “the best”.

That, coupled with Calacanis’ ability to offer a salary that both beats whatever teachers are already getting paid (which is reportedly around $69,611 in the Bay Area) and a $2,000 gift card has led many to label his search as an example of extreme privilege.

A fellow entrepreneur compared it to a “19th century schoolhouse” set up.

Someone else asked what “level’ of privilege Calacanis was operating at.

Others said his request belied "selfishness" and a “fundamental” problem with attitudes to community in the US that leave the less privileged behind.

There were also people who thought that Calacanis was doing what many other wealthy parents are behind closed doors – and that it’s up to schools to fix issues of inequality.

And for a few, the scenario seemed all too familiar…

For his part, Calacanis has defended himself by saying he’ll be offering “scholarships” to kids who can’t afford to “chip in”.

Although given class sizes are restricted at seven, that’s a lot of children who will miss out…

Once again, Covid-19 seems to be exposing the fault lines of inequality.

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