Last week, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed about Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million dollar gift to public schools in Newark, New Jersey. What happened to the money?
The Facebook founder negotiated his gift with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and then-Mayor Cory Booker in 2010, and it flowed into Newark’s public-school system shortly thereafter. The bulk of the funds supported consultants and the salaries and pensions of teachers and administrators, so the donation only reinforced the bureaucratic and political ills that have long plagued public education in the Garden State.
Mr. Zuckerberg is not the first private donor to fail at reforming public education by working with government—and he won’t be the last.
Did you get that? One-hundred million dollars just disappeared into a bureaucratic black hole. The money ended up being spent on the very bureaucracy that is so much to blame for the problems within public school systems. The op-ed concludes:
Philanthropists will not be able to change education and improve student outcomes unless they can circumvent the bureaucracies and interest groups that are responsible for the problems they hope to solve. If they act independently, though, their money has the potential to alter the lives not only of individual students, but entire communities.
What a cautionary tale. Read the rest here.