Facebook Founder Gives $100 Million to Newark Schools

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. (Flickr user andrewfeinberg (cc: by-nc-sa))

On the same day that a movie based on the life of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg opens in theaters, he will announce a gift of $100 million to Newark schools. Zuckerberg and Newark Mayor Corey Booker are expected to announce the donation during Friday's Oprah Winfrey Show.

Richard Perez-Pena, who wrote about the story in The New York Times Thursday, says that the amount is a significant chunk for a district that has a budget of $800 million. "This is $100 million on top of that. It's really a very significant amount of money," he says. "It could go to just about any purpose. We don't know yet how it's going to be used. But it could accomplish quite a lot."

Newark resident Carse Lucas says Newark's schools can use the aid. "You got a lot of young people now pooling together to try to see if they can make a difference and now we actually see somebody that's actually giving them some kind of support," he says. "It's pretty cool that he's actually giving something back. Facebook is a real big thing right now, so as far as a social network, if he's feeling generous, we'll accept it."

As part of the deal, Booker will regain some control of the school system, which has been under state watch since 1995. But Gov. Chris Christie will preserve the right to retake control.

Zuckerberg grew up in Westchester County and has no particular connection to Newark. In July, he and Booker met at a conference and began talking about the city.

The film "The Social Network" -- which depicts the legal battle between Zuckerberg and the other Facebook founders for control of the company -- opens the New York Film Festival Friday.


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Comments [1]

At $20000/child, pay parents to teach their kids from Better education and jobs

A recent report on NPR stated that it costs $20,000 per child per year
to educate kids in many of the nation's failing school systems.(*)
(*Re: Facebook's Founder's 100 M donation to the Newark school system).

This suggests a way to :
(1) improve childhood education
(2) improve the living standards of poor households.
(3) reduce unemployment by creating meaningful and stable jobs.
(4) increase the time parents can spend with their kids.
(5) give children strong incentives to study, and parents strong
incentives to become heavily involved in ensuring that
their children learn.


The job would consist of :

(1) teaching children from an approved curriculum.
(2) going to classes in the evenings designed for parent-educators.
(3) Frequent (monthly) testing to make sure students were at least up to
existing public school standards.

BOTH students and parents would be paid MORE (a "good student bonus")
if the students did better than public school averages.

Parents whose kids did not perform sufficiently well for several months
would be given intensive retraining, and if this did not correct the
problem, they would be "fired" as their child's teacher.
(Another parent or suitable household member - for example a grandparent -
could take the job, or the child could return to the public system).

Parent-teachers would be given a fixed salary per child trained
(with a maximum of 2). They would then teach their family's kids.
If the students excelled, the parent-teacher would get a 20 % bonus
at year-end. The child would also get a $1000 personal reward for

This clearly links being a good student with financial security and
improved earnings.

It also will help family income and reduce unemployment. It will
provide the security needed for families to be stable and thrive in
these difficult times.

(The amount should be based on the average cost of educating
a NON-special needs student - and comparisons would also be made
with the non-special needs students in the child's school district
to keep assessment fair).

Perhaps the best way to make sure children are well educated is
to directly and explicitly pay one of their parents
(or some other qualified family member) to be their teacher.

Oct. 11 2010 07:31 PM

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