Haute 100 Update: Zuckerberg’s $100M Donation to Directly Benefit Teachers

About a year ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg kept his haters at bay with the announcement of an extremely generous $100 million gift to the Newark, NJ school system. Now the foundation that manages the donation has announced that the two-year program will also provide $10,000 grants directly to teachers or groups of teachers who create innovative classroom plans.

This is only one of the few programs that will come of the generous donation, which was unveiled last year on the Oprah Winfrey Show by Zuckerberg, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

City and state officials will begin promotion of the program starting today with a news conference with Mayor Booker, acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf, new Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson, and new CEO of the Foundation for Newark’s Future (the foundation that is managing the donation) Greg Taylor.

The group will review the $6.4 million in grants that the foundation has received so far and discuss the future of Zuckerberg’s donation. Some of the funding has already been allocated to open new schools, extend school days, and recruit teachers.

“I think they’re just getting started, from what I’ve seen,” said Newark School Board member Shavar Jeffries. “It’s very important to facilitate opportunities for teachers to be entrepreneurial and use their professional expertise and judgment to meet the needs of the kids.”

Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets. To see the entire Haute 100 San Francisco list, click here.