‘World’s Smartest Billionaire’ on a Mission to Increase Teachers’ Wage Using His Own Wealth

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Not only was Jim Simons declared the World’s Smartest Billionaire by the Financial Times, but he must also be one of the kindest men to ever walk this earth.

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Simons is an established mathematician who runs a private hedge fund company called Renaissance Technologies. A company that employs scientists and mathematicians instead of finance experts to find out the best investment strategies out there.

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The plan proved to be a success as Simons actually sits at the 76th wealthiest person in the entire world.

Nowadays, Simons has retired from his successful company, which has an estimated worth of over $22 billion. He still involves himself, though, having been appointed as non-executive chairman.

Simons wants to bring light to the importance of education in America by donating to the people who teach math and science in school.

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Teachers all over America are surprisingly underpaid, a shocking thing to hear from a country that is incredibly developed. Simons looked into the issue and what he found out made him decide to donate a portion of what his company makes to math and science teacher all over New York City. He has named the organization Math for America and aims to help more than a thousand public school teachers in the area.

“Instead of beating up the bad teachers, which has created morale problems all through the educational community, in particular in math and science, we focus on celebrating the good ones,” Simons said in a rare interview with TED.

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Many teachers have found themselves in a situation where their salaries were forcibly deducted 1.3 percent on average from 13 years ago, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This comes as good news especially since the government has been shunning a request for an increase.

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Simons has been fully committed to his work for a long time. He also has his wife, Marilyn, on board to assist him the charitable cause.

“It’s hard right now to be really excited to be a teacher nationally,” Megan Roberts, who acts as executive director of Math for America, told Upworthy.

Simons gives numerous public school teachers their much deserved benefits. Teaching is a difficult profession. They have to deal with unruly students and spend hours standing in the classroom. But those who have chosen to stay over the years have shown utmost dedication and opportunities to sharpen their skills.

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“I hear people say all the time, ‘Oh, he’s just a teacher.’ Or, ‘I’m teaching now, until I do something else,'” Roberts added. “So nationally, the conversation across the country has always been that it’s either a field where people go to if they can’t do something else, or it’s something they do as a pathway to something else.”

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However, Math for America has encountered road bumps even with the many people they have helped.

“A huge number of our teachers say that they only stay in the classroom because of Math for America,” Roberts lamented.

So Simons and his team plan to make it a nationwide issue so they can improve education for every state by making the teachers a priority too.

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Simons has been the most vocal about the discrepancy in the salary of professional educators. The way he chooses to help them is a wake-up call for the whole nation. But what’s best is that with the worldwide influence Simons has, we can cross our fingers that others choose to do something similar.

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