Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, are donating $120 million to help public schools in underserved communities through their foundation, Startup: Education.
In her first-ever TV interview, Chan told NBC she and her husband felt it was important to invest in the school system where they live, work and volunteer — in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“The Bay Area is one of the most prosperous places in the world, but there are so many schools here that don’t have the resources they need,” said Zuckerberg in an announcement on Facebook. “Students from low income and minority backgrounds are the hardest hit, which means fewer end up graduating or attending college. Improving public education in our country and our community is something Priscilla and I really care about, and we want to change this.”
The funds will be used to encourage innovation in the classroom, train principals, and support new district and charter schools that give students more high quality choices for their education.
“We’ve listened to the needs of local educators and community leaders and we’re excited to support them,” concluded the statement.
In 2010, the couple agreed to donate $100 million to the chronically troubled public schools in the city of Newark, New Jersey. One of the positive outcomes of that, Zuckerberg says, is the new performance-based pay bonuses for the district’s best teachers.
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