$200M Fail: How Newark Wasted Zuckerberg’s MASSIVE Donation Into Their Education System

4 years ago



It is a well-known fact that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) invests SERIOUS amounts of money into educational project trying to make this world a better place. One of the instances of mishandling Facebook mogul’s generosity has just come to light. Here’s what you need to know:

  • In 2010, Mark Zuckerberg made a generous donation of $100 million to create an education Foundation for Newark's Future in Newark, NJ. Mr. Zuckerberg announced his intention on the stage of the Oprah Winfrey Show in front of the audience and Chris Christie, then New Jersey Governor.  
  • Later on, Facebook CEO also got several philanthropists involved to increase the donation to $200 million.
  • It has recently been revealed by the current Newark Mayor Ras Baraka that the foundation mishandled the donation.

Where Did Zuckerberg’s Money Go?



Initially, the funds donated by the Facebook founder, was meant to make improvements to the Newark public schools. According to the US Department of Education report, in 2014, Newark’s graduation level dropped 19 points below the average nationwide. The shocking statistics also revealed that 90% of graduates needed to take remedial classes before entering the local community college. Meanwhile, almost 40% of students had grade-level reading skills.


Eventually, the $200M worth educational experiment turned out a disaster, and the Foundation for Newark's Future had to shut down. Make no mistake, Mark Zuckerberg WAS NOT personally involved in the allocation of funds. The Mayor Baraka stressed that the Foundation would give out the money at its own discretion, without taking the local issues into account.


So, where did the $200 million go? According to the Newark Mayor, the funds were allocated as follows:

  • buying out contracts of underperforming teachers (cost-saving move)
  • $60M was spent on charter schools (privately run but publicly funded)
  • millions more went to $1,000-a-day consultants.

According to Foundation’s board trustee, Kimberly McLain, the foundation invested more than $2 million in citywide literacy initiatives. Also, she claims it has invested $1.5 million to boost Newark's college graduation rate, and created employment for over 2,000 students during the summer.


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