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Cover of Bloomberg Businessweek.

Nowhere are Americans more acutely aware of the system being rigged against them than in the area of education: That's why the Varsity Blues corruption scandal has resonated so widely with the general public.

The real scandal, as ever, isn't what's illegal: It's what's legal. We put together a partial list of ways in which the American educational system is rigged in favor of the rich and powerful.

The inequality begins in pre-K, where rich kids go to school and poor kids don't. That's partly because, in most states, child care costs more than in-state college tuition. The result? The gap between rich and poor kids' math and reading skills has been growing for decades.

  • Once school begins, white students receive $2,226 more funding per year than students of color, thanks to locally funded educational systems. Disadvantaged students end up 3–4 years behind their more affluent peers. Of course, the richest families bypass the public education system entirely and spend tens of thousands of dollars per year to educate their children privately. They also dominate selective public schools.
  • Getting into college is easier for richer children, who have the advantage of $200-an-hour tutoring. Rich kids are also orders of magnitude more likely to get recruited to elite institutions. Add in legacy admissions and other ways of buying your way into selective colleges, and the result is that students from the 1% are 77 times more likely to attend an Ivy League school than students coming from families earning less than $30,000 a year.
  • College is largely unaffordable for the poor, who are also excluded from the pervasive institution of unpaid internships. The rich, meanwhile, benefit from massive tax expenditures subsidizing their tuition costs.

Why it matters: Inequality of educational opportunity doesn't just deprive the economy of trillions of dollars' worth of untapped human capital. Its ubiquity and visibility also makes it a key breeding ground for resentment and corruption anxiety within the 99%.

Go deeper

Food delivery "ghost kitchens" face major obstacles

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The growing popularity of food delivery has given rise to startups that open "ghost kitchens" — kitchens in warehouses or trailers that prepare food solely for delivery and have no option to dine in.

  • But they can come with a whole host of problems.

The big picture: The concept of "ghost kitchens" has been dubbed the next big thing in the future of services, with high profile backers like Uber founder Travis Kalanick. But these kitchens can be hard to run or unsafe.

52 mins ago - Health

Federal judge blocks Biden vaccine mandate for health workers

President Biden delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant at the White House on Nov. 29. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate for health care workers at federally funded facilities nationwide.

The big picture: The order comes one day after a federal judge in Missouri halted the mandate, which has a Jan. 4 deadline, in 10 states.

CNN suspends Chris Cuomo indefinitely

Chris Cuomo in 2019. Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for THR

CNN announced Tuesday evening that it has suspended anchor Chris Cuomo indefinitely following new revelations about his involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Driving the news: New documents released Monday showed that Cuomo used his contacts to garner information about the women accusing his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, of sexual harassment, as well as of emerging media coverage relating to the scandal.