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Spotlighting schools – Education debate worth $1M

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A financier has offered Al Gore and George W. Bush half a million dollars each for their favorite children’s charities, on the condition that they participate in an education debate, the Associated Press reports.

“Here’s a chance for them to do what they should anyhow while raising money for charity,” Ted Forstmann told the politicians.

Forstmann co-founded the Children’s Scholarship Fund, a nonprofit that offered $50 million in scholarships to underprivileged children this fall. Forstmann wants to break what he calls the “government monopoly” in elementary and secondary education.

Gore said he had not heard about Forstman’s proposal but that “it wouldn’t take money” to persuade him to debate his opponent. Bush said through a representative that he looked forward to debating Gore, and that he hoped Forstmann would continue his crusade.

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