Isn't $22,000 per student (and that excludes capital costs) enough for K-12 schools?
Mark Zuckerberg, the 26-year-old founder and chief executive of Facebook Inc., plans to announce a donation of up to $100 million to the Newark schools this week, in a bold bid to improve one of the country's worst performing public school systems.
Newark spends about $22,000 a year on each of its 40,000 pupils, but only about half of its students graduate. Of those who do, only one-fifth go on to four-year colleges. More than 85% of the Newark students at community colleges need remedial help in math and English.
The state took control of the troubled Newark system in the 1990s, and this month Gov. Chris Christie informed the city's superintendent that his contract wouldn't be renewed after June 2011. Mr. Christie has vowed to implement forceful changes, portending an agenda that includes stronger teacher evaluations and merit pay.
Mr. Zuckerberg is setting up a foundation with $100 million of Facebook's closely held stock to be used to improve education in America, with the primary goal of helping Newark.
Mr. Zuckerberg has had a long-standing interest in education, particularly teachers' low salaries, according to a person familiar with the discussions. Over the last year, he had a series of meetings with people involved in education and developed a relationship with Newark Mayor Cory Booker. . . . .