Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced they are donating $120 million to help improve schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. The couple, who made the announcement to the San Jose Mercury News, discussed their concerns about struggling public schools in the Bay Area.
“The world’s most innovative community shouldn’t also be a home for struggling public schools,” Zuckerberg and Chan wrote. The couple plans for the first $5 million to support school districts in East Palo Alto and Redwood City; in one school district in East Palo Alto, they noted that less than 40% of students were proficient on state tests in English language arts and less than 50% of students were proficient in math. They continued, “We’re excited for the opportunity to support so many amazing educators, leaders and entrepreneurs in the years ahead to create schools where students thrive. Today’s announcement is just a small step toward the change we need to achieve in our community and our country, but it’s another step in a journey we expect to spend the rest of our lives on. Education is something worth investing in and if we can help make things better it will make all of our lives better.”
The Zuckerberg-Chan gift to Bay Area schools follows a $100 million pledge that Zuckerberg made to schools in Newark, New Jersey nearly 4 years ago.
[Sources: Forbes.com; http://www.mercurynews.com]