Government Spending

Andre Agassi's Charter School Double Fault

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The budgetary ball-busters at the Republican Study Committee point out an egregious lob served up to tennis great Andre Agassi from our pals in Congress (or, more specifically, by Nevada Democrat Rep. Shelley Berkley, in a bid to become the legislative equivalent of a "tennis Annie"):

According to our latest count, there appears to be roughly 1338 earmarks included in the Labor-HHS appropriations bill.  One of these earmarks, requested by Rep. Berkely, would provide $200,000 to the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, (whose website is inactive), located in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Agassi established the tuition-free charter school for local "at-risk" kids in 2001, and last year the House approved a $175,000 earmark for the institution–although it did not become law because Congress did not complete the appropriation's process.   In 2004, Forbes Magazine ranked Agassi 27th (right after Will Smith and Julia Roberts) on its list of richest individuals under age 40–at the time, the tennis star was 34 years old and worth $162 million.  Although Agassi was known during his playing days for his soft touch and accuracy, this action seems to be a fault—especially for the far less wealthy taxpayers who are being asked to fund it.  More after the jump…

More here.

The good news? No federal dough is yet being blown on Andre's Rock 'N' Roll Tennis Camp:

NEXT: Pleistocene Park

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  1. It’s a shame to see him resort to seeking funding like this. While I doubt it accounts for anything near the whole budget of the school, he could make that amount of money simply by making a few speaking engagements a year, a matter of hours of work.

  2. if you check out Agassi’s political contributions–fuck, I can’t remember the site–they’re well into the six figures and all go to Democrats.

    Someone needs to tell him that if you want to get shit done, it helps to bribe both parties. You don’t want a faction of entrenched enemies fuckin’ up your shit.

  3. Image isn’t everything, Andre.

  4. Agassi is more of a tennis good. The last tennis great of the male variety was Pete Sampras. When he wasn’t injured, anyway.

  5. Agassi is more of a tennis good. The last tennis great of the male variety was Pete Sampras. When he wasn’t injured, anyway.

    I agree. Agassi wasn’t one of the greats, although he had an illustrious career.

    Roger Federer? now HE is a tennis great! He already has more major titles than Andre got his entire career.

  6. It depends what you mean by tennis “Great” versus “Good”.

    Agassi has 8 singles Grand Slam titles, is one of only 5 men to have won all 4 different titles in his career (which Sampras didn’t do) and had that remarkable late career resurgence.

    If you are going to call great those with a legitimate claim to be the #1 all time player, then sure he is not “Great”. If you are talking about an obvious hall of famer and one of the best players of his generation, then he is definitely a “Great”.

    A parallel would be the pre-steroids Barry Bonds. Pre-Steroids (which I think of as around 1999) Barry Bonds, was an obvious first-ballot hall of famer who was slowing down but had a rare combination of speed/power/defense. Post-Steroid Barry Bonds is in the discussion for greatest player of all-time.

    I would think he was “Great” at both points, and I also think Agassi was a “Great”.

  7. That isn’t exactly how charter schools are supposed to work.

    ….Agassi established the tuition-free charter school for local “at-risk” kids in 2001….

    I’m fairly sure that, by definition, charter schools are always tuition free given that they are, in fact, public schools.

  8. Sigh. It probably never occurred to him that educational funding should come from anywhere besides the government. I honestly believe that.

    I wish Federer had someone decent to play. It is a dying sport.

  9. Bah. Agassi had some great moments, but he presided over a dying sport–men’s tennis. He’s married to a great, however.

  10. charter schools are public schools. they’re always tuition-free. but they’re usually funded at the state-local level. (Maybe toss in some private funding.) The only strange and inappropriate thing is the federal connection.

  11. “I wish Federer had someone decent to play. It is a dying sport.”

    Nadal?

  12. “Nadal?”

    No kidding. I guessing he didn’t watch Wimbledon this year.

  13. “I wish Federer had someone decent to play. It is a dying sport.”

    Ditka.

  14. I watched Wimbledon. It was the best one in years. My enthusiasm about Nadal is a bit restrained, I admit. It is prejudice against clay courters.

  15. Mine is prejudice against rich fucks with nothing better to do than figure out how to make themselves look like Mother Theresa while expecting me to pay for their ideas.

    Hey I have lots of ideas to. So what I never won any Tennis titles, besides tennis itself what does winning one have to do with anything else anyway? Since when does making commercials for Canon cameras and Nike make your ideas more valuable and in need of public funding than anyone elses.

    As always it is so easy to be loose with someone else’s money. Lately the people with the most wealth seem to be more and more inclined to tell us all how we should be forced to spend what few dollars we have.

  16. Who knew the Reason-commenters were so anti-rich, or so anti-charter?

    Sigh. It probably never occurred to him that educational funding should come from anywhere besides the government. I honestly believe that.

    From: http://www.philanthropy.com/free/articles/v16/i14/14002301.htm

    Nevada pays about $5,000 a year for each student who attends Mr. Agassi’s school, while the tennis star’s foundation pays about $2,500.

    Which means that Agassi is personally subsidizing public education in Nevada, and getting battered for it by people that think he is a) too rich and b) made silly commercials. Or something.

  17. Oh, and private memo to RSC: the website seems fine to me. Google, people, google.

  18. “Post-Steroid Barry Bonds is in the discussion for greatest player of all-time.”

    Haha, this has to be one of the funniest things I have ever read on these message boards.

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