David Tepper, the successful hedge fun manager, is jumping into the New Jersey political game reports NJ.com. He and fellow fund manager Alan Fournier have initiated a political action group to fun education reform in the State. Tepper is the founder and manager of Appaloosa Management. Alan Fournier, his co-pilot in this, is a hedge fund manager who used to work for Tepper.
David Tepper vs. New Jersey Education Association
David Tepper says that he is “tired of making money and am now trying to figure out the best way to give it away.” To him, that means promising lots of cash over the long term in order to change school reform, including tenure. This course of focus pits Tepper directly against the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s teachers union, and Tepper is ready for the challenge. According to NJ.com, his group has already “handed out 40,000 backpacks stuffed with school supplies, a move that lets them collect names and build good will.” Tepper says that he is committed to getting things done and his group will spend as much as necessary for as long as it is needed to help the State’s children. To Tepper’s mind, the NJEA protects the interests of the teachers rather than the students. Tepper is trying to position his group as a “counterweight” to that, even matching the teacher’s union, which NJ.com reports is “about $25 million over the past two years, all in.” Even more uniquely, he and Fournier say they will provide provide more as needed.
What are David Tepper and Alan Fournier After?
Tepper and Fournier are taking a bold stance and the teachers union is fighting back. “We don’t rattle too easily,” said Vince Giordano, New Jersey Education Association executive director. “I hate to make it a dollar-for-dollar duel in the middle of Dodge City, but they’re not going to outspend us.” Tepper’s goals are fairly simple. He thinks that only 75-85 percent of teachers who have tenure actually deserve it. He thinks the rest should get pink slips. Tepper supports merit pay, but only if the bonus means that other teachers aren’t getting less. Tepper also thinks that parents should be privy to any information the school has on their child.