Teaching Schools How to Spend

The CEO of Overstock.com looks to school spending for his next project

He made millions figuring out how to profit from other companies' excess goods, and now the CEO of Overstock.com has set his sights on making sure public schools spend their money wisely. Appalled by bloated administrative and bureaucratic expenses, Patrick Byrne is championing state initiatives that would require schools to spend 65% of their budgets on teachers' salaries and other classroom costs. The national average is 61.5%, and only four states--Maine, New York, Tennessee and Utah--top 65%.

Implementing a 65% rule nationwide, Byrne claims, could inject $14 billion into classrooms without raising taxes. He has channeled $250,000 into his...

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