Zuckerberg and wife Chan give $120m to school system

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are donating $120m (€88m) to the San Francisco Bay Area’s public school system.

The couple’s gift will be spread over the next five years and is the biggest allocation to date of the $1.1bn in Facebook stock the couple pledged last year to the non-profit Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

“Education is incredibly expensive and this is a drop in the bucket. What we are trying to do is catalyse change by exploring and promoting the development of new interventions and new models,” Chan said at Facebook’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters.

The first $5m will go to school districts in San Francisco, Ravenswood, and Redwood City and will focus on principal training, and classroom technology.

The couple and their foundation, called Startup: Education, determined the issues of most urgent need based on discussions with school administrators and local leaders.

It was Chan’s first significant step into the public spotlight. The two met while studying at Harvard and married in their Palo Alto backyard on May 19, 2012 — the day after Facebook’s stock began publicly trading in a rocky initial public offering that now seems a distant memory.

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