Mark Zuckerburg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, announced some big news that could really make a difference in education for underprivileged kids: They will donate $120 million to San Francisco Bay Area schools.
"It is the biggest allocation to date of the $1.1 billion of the Facebook stock that the couple pledged last year to the nonprofit Silicon Valley Community Foundation." (Via ABC)
"Basically, they say the world's most innovative community shouldn't be a home for struggling schools." (Via HLN)
In an op-ed piece published in the San Jose Mercury News, Zuckerberg and Chan wrote: "The challenges are much greater than the resources [teachers] receive. Schools can't try new teaching models that might help their students. They're forced to cut back on classes and extracurricular programs. They don't have access to computers and connectivity in the classroom. The commitment we're announcing today is our effort to change this."
The donation will be through the Startup:Education fund, which "is dedicated to improving the quality of public education in this country by investing in great classroom experiences to ensure that every child has access to the skills and opportunities they need to reach their full potential."
"The money will help start new public and charter schools as well as pay for equipment trying and programs at existing schools." (Via KNTV)
The first $5 million will go toward technology upgrades and improving Internet access in schools. About four years ago, Zuckerberg donated $100 million dollars to the Newark, New Jersey, system.
"But recent reports suggest most of that money is gone with mixed results at best. Is that frustrating?"
CHAN: "Those are long-term beats that need a number of years to really pan out. ... And it's a long journey." (Via NBC)
But the pair also mentioned in the op-ed, Newark so far has: "the leading teacher contract in the country," "new district and charter schools" and "50 new principals." And "graduation rate has grown by 10%."
Chan is currently a pediatric resident at the University of California at San Francisco, she is also a former teacher. Zuckerberg, who is worth $28 billion, was named the world's 21st richest person by Forbes.