The billionaire head of a global private equity company has called for teachers to be exempt from paying tax.
Steve Schwarzman, the founder and chief executive of Blackstone, made the call as part of a plan he outlined to improve schools in the US.
In an interview with American TV network CNBC, he said the US has slipped from number one in the world for primary and secondary education when he was young to 30th or 35th now, depending on who measures it.
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He called for a “Marshall Plan” for the middle classes in the country to address income inequality.
Mr Schwarzman said: “One thing I think we should do is make teachers pay no tax. I think teachers is where the key is, and we have to address getting the best people.
“It’s not just money, and you can see from these strikes people don’t have enough money, but we also have to make teachers a special class in our society.
“If we really want to change, we have to advantage them.”
Mr Schwarzman has been an advisor to US president Donald Trump, and chaired his Strategic and Policy Forum.
Blackstone’s website describes Mr Schwarzman as “an active philanthropist with a history of supporting education”.
It says he gave “a founding gift of $40 million to the Inner-City Scholarship Fund, which provides tuition assistance to underprivileged children attending Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York”.