MENLO PARK (CBS SF) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are donating $120 million to Bay Area public school districts.
The couple’s gift will be spread over the next five years and is the biggest allocation to date of the $1.1 billion in Facebook stock the couple pledged last year to the nonprofit Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
The first $5 million will go to school districts in San Francisco, Ravenswood and Redwood City and will focus on principal training, classroom technology and helping students transition from middle school to high school.
The donation is similar to the $100 million gift that Zuckerberg made four years ago to schools in Newark, New Jersey. But that pledge has been met with controversy with parents questioning why so much of the money has gone to high-paid consultants without much improvement to student performance.
Zuckerberg said the Newark experience is “a big influence on our thinking” with the Bay Area donation. Taking the long view, he’s quick to point out that the results in New Jersey are too early to measure.
“The schools and programs that the folks put in place, only now are they ramping up and students are starting to go through them. So you won’t know what the outcomes are until like 5, 7, 10 years from now,” he said.
“That said, I think there are some things that are going generally better than we’d expected and some things that we’ve definitely taken as lessons.”
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