Zuckerberg Pledges $120 Million To Bay Area Schools
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[May 30, 2014]
(Reuters) - Facebook founder and CEO
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have pledged $120 million to
Bay Area schools to help underserved communities in San Francisco, the
two wrote in an essay to the San Jose Mercury News.
The announcement, made in the Bay Area paper on Thursday night,
marks Zuckerberg's latest charitable donation to lagging public
education systems. In 2010, the tech tycoon donated $100 million to
beleaguered public schools in Newark, New Jersey.
"The investments we've made are a drop in the bucket compared to the
challenges schools face. But we've seen that targeted investments
can be catalysts for much bigger changes in communities, and give
vital support to leaders and organizations," the couple said.
"Helping improve the quality of public education in this country is
something we both really care about."
The essay cited the Ravenswood school district in particular, which
is slated to receive grant money when the first $5 million is
released, where last year fewer than half of the students were rate
as proficient in math and fewer than 40 percent were proficient in
The two noted that low-income and minority students in the region
struggle to perform well in the classroom, due in part to a lack of
The money will be routed through the Startup:Education fund with the
aim of providing computers and internet connectivity to needy
schools, offering teacher training, and helping to fund new district
and charter schools among other initiatives.
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Critics however have questioned the effectiveness of Zuckerberg's
past philanthropic endeavors. A recent article in The New Yorker
outlined problems that continue to plague the Newark school system
despite the $100 million donation.
"Everybody’s getting paid, but Raheem still can’t read,” Vivian Cox
Fraser, president of the Urban League of Essex County, told The New
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)
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