Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan give $1.2 million to teachers

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Celebrities have often donated funds or paid for classroom supplies for teachers who desperately need the help: Earlier this year, Lady Gaga donated to classrooms in Toledo, El Paso, and Gilroy following the mass shootings in those cities. in 2015, Stephen Colbert funded all $800,000 worth of teachers’ projects on DonorsChoose. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan are the latest big names to help out teachers across the country with a whopping $1.2 million donation via their Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. They will fund all professional development projects through Donors Choose.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, launched by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan to give back, has announced a $1.2 million grant benefiting hundreds of teachers across the country.

The gift will fund nearly 700 different professional development projects meant to empower teachers in 36 different states, according to a press release.

The projects were initially created by teachers on the nonprofit crowdfunding platform DonorsChoose, which allows educators to make requests for classroom resources that are then sent directly to them once enough money has been raised.

“As an educator, I know that teachers want professional development opportunities to both improve their instructional practice as well as meet their immediate needs in the classroom,” Chan, 34, said in a statement. “That is why we’re partnering with DonorsChoose to help teachers apply the latest findings on how students learn best within their classroom practice and funding the individual professional development asks of teachers across the country.”

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) also announced that it will match donations to new professional development projects on DonorsChoose while funds last, and will also provide teachers access to NeuroTeach, an online tool that allows them to work the latest education research into their own classrooms.

[From People]

People shared stories from some of the teachers whose projects will be funded: Madeline Mason is a “mindfulness and social learning coach,” who has used DonorsChoose to fund numerous projects. The CZI will help her purchase “books and journals to better support teachers in their mindfulness practices.” People highlighted two other educators who will benefit from Mark and Priscilla’s donation: “an elementary school teacher in San Francisco who wants to attend a literary conference, and a middle school teacher in Baltimore looking to become board-certified.”

As someone who knows and loves many educators, I really respect and appreciate Mark and Priscilla so much for donating some of their wealth to help teachers. So many of my friends who teach open their own wallets to buy supplies because they don’t want to short-change their students, but that’s not sustainable over years or decades of teaching. We have an absolutely disastrous Secretary of Education, and school funding is dropping.

Mark and Priscilla founded the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in 2015 after their eldest daughter, Max, was born. It’s stated mission “is to find new ways to leverage technology, community-driven solutions, and collaboration to accelerate progress in Science, Education, and within our Justice & Opportunity work.” With this donation, Mark and Priscilla are standing behind their belief that teachers and students matter, that education matters. Good for them. So many people are going to benefit from their generosity.

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66 Responses to “Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan give $1.2 million to teachers”

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  1. JanetFerber says:

    That is so great! I wish more wealthy benefactors would do this! Congrats to them for a really good act.

    • (TheOG)@Jan90067 says:

      DonorsChoose.org is really a great platform.

      When I taught, EVERY YEAR, I spent from $500 (when I started teaching in 1984, making only $13,500/yr.) to between $2K-$4K PER YEAR (which I could ill afford) by year 5 and on till I retired at 30 yrs. It went for books (workbooks/teaching materials as I was teaching out of sci. and soc.st. books that *I* learned out of when I was in 3rd gr! Seriously, the last page in our sci. books was “…and someday, we will reach the moon!”), lined & art paper, pencils (reg/colored), markers, erasers, folders…even down to Kleenex, soap and paper towels to replenish my classroom. Usually, by Nov. the schools were out of almost ALL supplies. We would do fund-raisers, but it didn’t make that much of a dent, as we weren’t a “rich” school.

      While I applaud this gesture, for a multi-billionaire, this is barely the interest made in a couple of hours on his bank accounts. They really can do MUCH better, and should make it ongoing, esp. as they are CONTINUALLY making money off of selling each new year’s kids’ data as soon as they get on FB.

      Sorry, but I REALLY dislike them.

  2. Tanguerita says:

    i guess, the stinking weasel is in dire need of freshening up his image again, so he decided to brush off a few crumbs from his breakfast table, while pandering to Trump and co.

  3. Sierra says:

    I don’t like this man and he is a big part Trump got elected.

    But well done for giving money to a worthy cause.

    • Silas says:

      Yup. Mark Zuckerberg is doing this for pr while he privately meets with people like Tucker Carlson.

      • (TheOG)@Jan90067 says:

        And let’s not forget #LeningradLindsey (Graham) and all the other republiTHUGS in congress and the senate who attend those dinners. Does “quid pro quo” sound familiar?

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I completely agree. Zuckerberg values money above all else. He has allowed criminal things to be done with people’s personal information and thinks he’s above consequence. He has allowed and enabled foreign interference into our past elections, and he is going to go even further next election.

  4. Frida_K says:

    Oh, that’s nice.

    Actually, not really.

    Based on what I’ve been reading in the news, it appears that Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have ties to Russian oligarchs. Zuckerberg knew what he was doing when he cooperated with Cambridge Analytica. Ad-wise, he is gladly taking big money to spread misinformation on Facebook.

    Twelve million is a paltry sum considering all the money he earns by siphoning our information and, let’s face it (ooh, see what I did there?), supporting the current occupant of the Whitehouse.

    Oh, and here’s a great twitter thread on Zuckerberg’s humble beginnings as a creeper and as a misogynist:

    https://twitter.com/histoftech/status/1022289098936078336

    So yeah. I’m not impressed by this. Not at all.

    • Mar says:

      Lol it’s 1.2 mill and that’s really not much right?

      • Oui oki says:

        I guess the OP means it’s not much considering what they have? You could google his networth and it might make sense

      • Frida_K says:

        @Mar:

        My response to your comment didn’t appear but–to clarify–I initially read this as 12 million because the coffee hadn’t kicked in yet.

        It’s chump change, like coins from between couch pillows, for these people. And 1 point 2 million dollars is less than nothing for them. It’s pathetic.

        I’m even less impressed now that the coffee is in full force.

    • Sean says:

      Just what I was about to post. The man is a traitor to our democracy.

      • Bella Bella says:

        He seems to be taking a page out of the Trump playbook — diversion. Divert the press attention to Facebook-Russian ties by giving money to teachers. This man should be ashamed of himself for participating in the decline of our democratic process and the election of an incompetent, ignorant, Russian-compromised baby bully to the White House.

    • Leah says:

      Absolutely. This is all a distraction from Zuck ties to Russia, willingness to allow and profit from the spread of disinformation and latest attacks on Elizabeth Warren’s plans to breakup and regulate tech industry-Facebook in particular. This is a chump change distraction. We cannot let ourselves be distracted from who these people really are and their role in our current volatile state in this country.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I agree, Frida.

  5. La says:

    That’s great for the teachers but I can’t help but think he’s trying to bury the news that he met with ultra conservative influencers (Trump supporters) and Elizabeth Warren’s ad buy showing they do nothing to fact check purchased political ads.

    Happy for the teachers but he still sucks #deletefacebook

    • stepup says:

      And don’t forget to delete Instagram and WhatsApp — which are all Facebook.

    • Original T.C. says:

      Totally agree. It’s his 1 cents from his billions but most importantly, it’s to counter act the negative press he has been getting this week. His attack on Warren et. al and to avoid paying his fair share in taxes. This is nothing compared to how much in taxes he evaded each year.

      If it had been a pre-planned donation instead of quick PR, it would have been at the beginning of the school year. Right before all the kids started in Autumn. We can see right through you Mark- you lack the social skills to be smooth with your bribery!

  6. margedebarge says:

    Call me a cynic but as nice as this is it’s cover his shady dealings with trump and the rest of the world’s despots

  7. margedebarge says:

    Call me a cynic but as nice as this is it’s cover his shady dealings with trump and the rest of the world’s despots

  8. TIFFANY says:

    This feels in line with what Dr Chan has been doing for years, not that permanent hoodie she is married to.

    • holly hobby says:

      Yes she actually sits on the board of some charter school: https://www.summitlearning.org/about-tlp

      This is more her passion than his. It’s unfortunate his name is on it though.

      • Killjoy says:

        I mean, her passion in the sense that both of them would probably like to charter-ize, privat-ize, and tech optimize school in America. Even their donations to public schools I think are just a cover for their more profit-minded school initiatives. She taught a year at a private school before med school and now says sh*t like “as an educator….” *eyeroll*

  9. stepup says:

    Whatever. It’s a tax write-off for them. And this has been Zuck’s M.O. for decades: He Does something terrible, and then tries to hide it with an educational donation. He and his team and actively trying to make sure Trump gets re-elected. Fuck this guy.

  10. Ally Theater says:

    How about just paying your fair share in taxes, asshole.

    • Laura says:

      Preach!

      Facebook has been a primary reason that newspapers are dying, it’s linked to Russian money and has played host to innumerable GRU disinformation efforts, and now he’s taking “dinners” with conservative pundits. He’s a cynical shitbag and donating all the teaching supplies in the world won’t change that.

    • hogtowngooner says:

      THIS.

      Look, I’m not gonna knock him for putting money into something as important as teachers and education, but the reason these schools are crumbling and teachers are burning out at alarming rates is because filthy rich pricks like Zuckerberg ensure they don’t pay their fair share in taxes that fund the education system.

      • Killjoy says:

        Um, and filthy rich tech pricks like Zuckerberg are also trying to replace traditional public schooling with tech-forward “disruptive” charter schools where companies like his can make $$$.

  11. Lala11_7 says:

    He heartily supports fascism….

    And he pays 50 times that a year….to politicians to ensure FB pays NO taxes…which directly impacts public education….

    He’s deplorable….

    • oui oKi says:

      great point! wow

    • Lizzie says:

      100%. if he and facebook paid their taxes, it could probably single highhandedly fund the entire US public school system…this seems great until you realize that 1.2 million is a fraction of % what his money would earn in a savings account.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Really great points, Lala!

    • K.T says:

      Exactly, he’s deplorable. Another one of those facist Kushner/Trumpian/Peter Thiel money-heads who truly wants to think of himself as a saviour (or even a victim!) while his mass entertainment toy supports facism for profit. I just can’t even with this tone of being happy for the 2cents he’s given to a teacher charity while grossly exploding any social contract by tearing apart democratic freedoms. And now it’s reported been in bed with the moderate right and far right to push a pretend ‘free speech’ (narrator: it’s not, it’s propaganda pushing) so he can let make money from dictators, despots etc.

      Facebook algorithm-lying is killing real media platforms and if we could get even a fraction of real taxes from these billionaire companies then that would be an actual celebration. Then, education would get funding and this cycle could improve. Argghhhh

  12. Jessica says:

    Proportionately, that’s like me giving one one-hundredth of one cent. Buy, I suppose it still counts?

  13. mellie says:

    As a parent of a future teacher (1 1/2 years to go – dual major – special education/elementary education), I am always happy to see teachers given a hand up. It’s ridiculous the amount of their own money that they spend on their profession and here in Indiana, we have some of the lowest paid teachers in the country…thanks to Republicans running the show.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    First of all that is nothing compared to how they hurt education in this country by getting Trump and by extension Betsy DeVos into power. Facebook bears a tremendous responsibility and if you don’t realize that you haven’t been following the news. Second, it’s nothing compared to their fortune, and it’s nothing compared to the need they could meet. If they really want to improve education, support Democratic campaigns and stop allowing Trump bots to rule Facebook. Stop the Trump ads on Facebook. Stop the hate speech and racism that runs nearly completely amok on Facebook. Like seriously why praise them when you know who these people are?

    • holly hobby says:

      That could actually be directed to Twitter too. So many posts that were inappropriate there. The main one is the mango and his zombies.

    • Killjoy says:

      Oh Zuckerberg doesn’t have an issue with people like DeVos in power. He is a big proponent of “school reform” aka running school like a business and replacing teachers with tech as much as possible. He’s willing to put almost 100 times that amount into a single initiative in his goal to privatize schools: https://www.npr.org/2015/09/21/442183080/assessing-the-100-million-upheaval-of-newarks-public-schools

      This little PR stunt is about the most optic-friendly thing he can do to support his image as someone who cares about education, while distracting from the really upsetting things he’s actually doing in education, and, ya know, destroying democracy.

  15. kacy says:

    This is the equivalent of me giving a month’s worth of latte money away. It’s trivial and insufficient. It definitely a PR ploy, but they should have gone all in.

    • aang says:

      No kidding. I send a monthly remittance to a friend in Cuba and feel ashamed because I could in fact do much more if I gave up some frivolous things like lattes and sashimi. I certainly would’t act like 1.2 million is big deal if I had billions and billions.

  16. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Im not going to celebrate this dude for $hit. Mark Zuckerberg is worth 70 BILLION DOLLARS. His giving away 1.2mil is the equivalent of me donating $20. And he gets a nice healthy tax write off for it. But FB doesn’t pay taxes so that’s not even an issue I guess.
    What I find really interesting is the timing of this. Just earlier this week it was revealed that he has been having secret meetings with GOP Reps. He also gave a speech yesterday where he doubled down on what happened in 2016 by stating that “Facebook will not interfere in the political process”. Like b*tch – you already have!
    So yeah no this is a PR stunt and Im not giving him kudos for anything. He is happy to allow fascists and foreign interference in our Democracy take root on his site.

  17. aang says:

    He is grotesque. Can we send him, Jeff Bezos, and whoever owns twitter to an island for recalcitrant billionaires?

  18. Rhys says:

    Education and health services should never be at the mercy of people who might or might not donate. If the government took a few numbers out of their 57% taxes going to military spending, and invested it in education, we wouldn’t be praising multimillionaires for sharing a drop of their wealth with schools.

  19. MeghanNotMarkle says:

    Another distraction from his many questionable ties to less-than-acceptable people. It’s a nice gesture but it’s empty, all things considered.

  20. Cay says:

    $1.2 million is nothing to this guy. Nothing.

  21. Mumbles says:

    What would be better is a progressive tax system whereby billionaires are taxed proportionate to their wealth. It’s nice when very rich people give to charity – but *they* then get to decide how that money is spent. Money in public coffers means that there are more resources for everyone, not just for who the wealthy decide are worthy of their largesse.

    And yes $1.2 million is a rounding error for someone worth billions. It’s like one of us giving spare change.

  22. HK9 says:

    He’s a deplorable-nothing to see here.

  23. kerwood says:

    That’s nothing. Zuckerberg could probably pull a million in change out of his sofa. He must be making that much an hour from promoting hate speech and helping the Russians take over the election.

  24. Ann says:

    Zuckerberg paying his f’ing taxes would help a lot more than what is a paltry donation coming from him, a billionaire. It’s still over a million dollars and that money is still going to a good cause, but this is the equivalent of me buying crayons at Target for those back to school drives. Sure it’s nice, but it’s also not really anything.

  25. jj says:

    Okay,, a couple things here: dude is worth 70 billion dollars; 1.2 million is NOTHING to him. Also, it’s the freaking government’s job to fund education. Why are people not more angry that private donors have to step up?

  26. Thea says:

    This is just PR deflection from his shady shenanigans. He’s meeting with GOP leaders in secret. He has no plans to battle the spread of fake news. He doesn’t want to correct misinformation. He says he doesn’t want to interfere with the political process – except he is, to the benefit of the GOP. He doesn’t give an f about our privacy, but will buy the four houses surrounding his so he can have his privacy. Oh and did you hear about how he tried to change Facebook’s origin story? He’s now saying Facebook started as a way to give people voice during the Iraq war? B*tch, we all know that you started it as a way to rate which woman was hotter. So while this is nice for the teachers and students, I won’t applaud this obvious PR deflection.

  27. Raina says:

    And he helps teach kids how to fix elections. Swell dude.
    Can he help teach kids how to get out of cages he helped put them in??

  28. agnes says:

    How big is his fortune again?

    Miser!

  29. adastraperaspera says:

    Zuckerberg is trying to capture the news cycle to distract from the fact that he is using Facebook to destroy democracy. He’s desperate to have us all believe that his advertising cash cow platform is some kind of “free speech” sanctuary. He needs to stop lying. It’s a business, and it’s one he’s running in an irresponsible and illegal way (election fraud, data mining, etc.) that desperately needs regulation.

  30. Veronica S says:

    A mere tax write off, nothing more. If these people really wanted to make a difference, they’d support legislation for fairer, socially conscious taxation.

  31. manda says:

    They could give SOOOOOOOOOO much more. SO MUCH MORE. This is a drop in the bucket. Thanks for the dregs, zuckerbergs

  32. Originaltessa says:

    Zuckerberg makes more than a million dollars an hour. So, this is basically like the average person donating $50. It’s not as generous as it seems. He could be giving so so much more.

  33. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    The Zukerbergs are evil. Remember back in January when they were going to force Native Hawaiians to sell their ancestral lands so Zukerberg could have more privacy? Then there was a huge public outcry and the Zukerbergs backed down, and everyone complimented them for realizing their mistake and being good guys about it? Well, flash forward a few more months, and the Zukerbergs DID force the auction after all, only without a lot of press coverage for “some” (not too difficult to see why = $$$) reason. But if you do a search you’ll see that he forced the auction after publicly saying he wouldn’t. They are evil.

  34. InsertNameHere says:

    Interesting…I have two DonorsChoose projects active currently and I definitely didn’t get any of this magical funding.

  35. InsertNameHere says:

    Interesting…I have two DonorsChoose projects active currently and I definitely didn’t get any of this magical funding. PD is extremely difficult to make happen because while projects can be funded, paying for a substitute ($50 a day in my district) isn’t part of it.

  36. TuxCat5 says:

    Go f**k yourself, Zuckerberg.

    You and your wife (along with other Big Tech bozos) are key players in the destruction of public education by bankrolling charter schools, which are just private schools funded with public money taken from public schools).

    $1.2 million for teachers via DonorsChoose.org? Let’s talk about that $15 MILLION for your buddy’s “Alt School” that had kids in front of computer screens for hours instead of interacting with a *human teacher*.

    I hope San Francisco General hurries up and gets your name (and your wife’s) off of our hospital. You suck!

    Signed,

    A Furious Native-to-SF-Bay-Area Teacher

  37. LoWilli says:

    Dayton. It was Dayton not Toledo, Ohio where the mass shooting happened. Nine people were murdered in less than 30 seconds.

  38. Jane says:

    As a teacher of 34 years, 1.2 million doesn’t even START to help teachers. I spend up to $4000.00 year on my classroom yearly. If knew how much teachers spend trying to educate students he could donate more. I am sick to my stomach about this. He pulls in an INSANE amount of money yearly. He’s doing this to feed his own ego and for publicity. Rant over.

  39. vesper says:

    $1.2M is not WHOPPING!! How dare you use that adjective to describe this assholes money crumbs! I’m so sick of the cliche that is Zuckerberg! I will not applaud this at all. DO BETTER! DO MORE!

  40. whybother says:

    that’s million not billion right?
    i mean, good for your tax i guess
    but that amount is paltry especially to the numbers of teachers and their income~