Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010

Zuckerberg Gives Millions to Newark Public Schools

It wasn't a surprise that the world's youngest billionaire would choose to give away some of his millions to those in need; what was surprising was Mark Zuckerberg's recipient. On Sept. 24, Zuckerberg used the "Oprah Winfrey Show" to announce a $100 million donation to improve the public schools in Newark, New Jersey. Zuckerberg grew up in Westchester County, New York, went to college in Cambridge, Mass. and now resides in California, so why New Jersey? Zuckerberg met Newark mayor Cory Booker at a conference over the summer and liked what he heard of Booker's plans for the city. Under the terms of the donation, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will cede some control of the state-run schools to Booker, who Zuckerberg says is the right leader to turn the long-troubled schools around. "School districts need more autonomy and clearer leadership so they can be managed more like start-ups then like government bureaucracies," Zuckerberg wrote on his blog. "Like any start-up, the key to making this work is finding great leaders and the right market that's ready for change."