Facebook's Zuckerberg pumping $150m into US schools

Facebook's Zuckerberg pumping $150m into US schools
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg walks with his wife Priscilla Chan.

SAN FRANCISCO - Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg put out word late Thursday that he and his wife Priscilla Chan are pumping US$120 million (S$150 million) into San Francisco Bay Area schools.

Distribution of the money will be spread over five years, with initial grants going toward initiatives for providing computers and Internet access in public schools as well as training teachers and enlisting parents in efforts to keep students on track.

"The Bay Area is one of the most prosperous places in the world, but there so many schools here that don't have the resources they need," Zuckerberg said in a post on his Facebook page.

"Improving public education in our country and our community is something Priscilla and I really care about, and we want to change this." Part of the focus for grant money from his Startup: Education fund will be to start new district and charter schools that provide high quality education.

About four years ago Zuckerberg channeled US$100 million to improve schools in the New Jersey city of Newark. He noted in his post that much of the work started in Newark is still in progress.

"The investments we've made are a drop in the bucket compared to the challenges schools face," Zuckerberg said.

"But we've seen that targeted investments can be catalysts for much bigger changes in communities."

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