Zuckerberg Throws $120M Into Local Schools

Priscilla Chan says it's an 'incredibly personal issue'

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 30, 2014 9:36 AM CDT

(Newser) – As debate rages over Silicon Valley's gentrification of the Bay Area, Mark Zuckerberg yesterday gave parents there a reason to applaud their wealthy neighbors. The Facebook founder and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced that they're sinking $120 million into San Francisco-area schools over the next five years, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Some of that money will go to found new charter and public schools, and some will bolster the budgets of existing schools.

The first $5 million will be directed to "high-need" neighborhoods, and will focus on principal training, classroom technology, and helping kids transition into high school, KTVU reports. It's the biggest outpouring so far from the $1.5 billion Silicon Valley Community Fund the couple founded last year. "Education is an incredibly personal issue for me," Chan told the Today Show, because good teachers were especially important in directing her toward college; she was the first in her family to graduate from it (she's now a pediatrician). She also said the couple wants kids someday, "but we're so busy taking care of other people's children right now." It's not the first time Zuckerberg has spent big on education either; he gave $100 million to Newark's schools back in 2010.

In this July 9, 2011, file photo, Mark Zuckerberg, president and CEO of Facebook, walks to morning sessions with his then girlfriend Priscilla Chan.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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