Dear Teachers and Staff of Your Public High School,
There have been a lot of rumors about the potential buyout of your school by a high-powered private equity firm known as Plunderstone Capital. I am pleased to announce that those rumors are true. You are now one of Plunderstone Capital’s portfolio companies. Congratulations, assets!
As your principal, it’s my foremost duty to turn this troubled institution into a beacon of hope for our shareholders. This school was specifically targeted because it has a low market valuation and is in desperate need of strategic overhaul. By market valuation, I mean standardized test scores. And by strategic overhaul, I mean a bottomless pool of free-flowing international debt.
Further, you may have noticed that I keep referring to myself as your principal even though I am not, in fact, Mr. Henderson. While I’m not your principal, per se, I will be running operations around here for the foreseeable future. And doesn’t “principal” have a more pleasant ring to it than “operating partner?”
Rest assured, my role is basically the same as that of a principal except I don’t know how to run a school and I now own 15% of its graduates’ earnings in perpetuity.
You are probably thinking, “is a leveraged buyout of a public high school even legal?” Who’s to say. But after we handed each of your school’s attorneys a sack of money with a dollar sign printed on the side, the answer seems to be “Yes.” That's also why you haven’t heard from them in so long—cell service in the Maldives is spotty.
At Plunderstone, we strive to be unconstrained by staid conventions such as “legality,” or having “qualified” educators run and manage a school. We made an aggressive bet that we could take this institution from a microcosm of dysfunction in the public education system to a shining microcosm of unfettered dysfunctional capitalism.
How, you ask? By creating transformative impact through our core values known as The Three Ships: Entrepreneurship, Stewardship, and the Pirate Ship on which we will set sail once this acquisition is no longer profitable.
We recognize this development will bring about a great deal of change. And change can be scary! So allow me to answer the one big question on everyone’s mind right now: “what synergies will you capitalize on?” I’m glad you asked, as those synergies include:
- Creating solution-centric students by stripping textbooks of everything but answer keys
- Driving explosive growth in student-to-teacher ratios
- Capitalizing on new revenue sources such as your taxes
- Leveraging opportunities for educational efficiency by replacing poster board with
- PowerPoint and Home Ec. teachers with Seamless
- Re-energizing the teacher workforce with a brand new, state-of-the-art Nespresso machine
- Minimizing energy-inefficient programs such as electricity
- Outsourcing principal duties at discounted rates to recently terminated principals including, but not limited to, Mr. Henderson
Finally, let’s get to the main event: layoffs.
- “Will my favorite teachers be mercilessly dispatched?” [Almost certainly.]
- “When will the executions take place?” [They began yesterday. Enjoy early retirement, Mrs. Silverstein!]
- “Can we use their forfeited salaries to fund the marching band?” [No. We sold the marching band for a marginal profit to JPMorgan.]
To be clear, we at Plunderstone do not believe in “layoffs”, but we do believe in smartsizing. As in, we need to be “smart” about the “size” of this school. And based on our most recent SWOT analysis, it seems like it would be extremely not smart to retain the majority of our teaching departments. While a comprehensive list of eliminated departments will be shared at a later date, let’s just say History class is going full Pets.com.
Regarding all non-faculty, the last thing we want is to make them feel like strangers in their new privatized public high school. For this reason we are dedicated to maintaining the qualities you know and love about work—long hours, terrible pay, and the pressure to never actually use sick days. Remember: an important part of our mission is to help newly acquired assets feel right at home. For 95% of you, we mean that literally, as you will be sent home at one o’clock this afternoon.
Thank you for your mandatory cooperation during this exciting new business opportunity. We at Plunderstone endeavor to create a disruptive and efficient place of learning that extracts as much value as possible from our students for the next three to five years until we exit via sale to the Harvard Endowment.
“Principal” Chad Bradford, M.B.A., C.F.A.