Newark Mayor Cory Booker, left, laughs as Mark Zuckerberg, right, founder and CEO of Facebook, talks about his donation of $100 million to help Newark public schools during a press conference at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, N.J., Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010. Also there is N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, not in picture.
Nine months after Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg gave $100 million to Newark, N.J. public schools, there's still not a solid plan how to spend it -- sparking protests and distrust from parents.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker's plan was presented earlier this year with most parents protesting the lack of community involvement and parent input. However, the state of New Jersey controls the district as it has since 1995, according to NPR. And Gov. Chris Christie has already announced plans to hand over operations to underperforming schools in Camden to private companies. Newark may also be awaiting the same fate.
The fear is that the plan is focused on charter schools and not on improving already existing community schools -- and that private corporations will devour most of Zuckerberg's gift to a struggling school district.
It's not surprising that a struggling school district is having problems administering funds -- usually a school district is in dire straits because it lacks leadership and vision as well as efficient administration. We believe the district would have been better served if Zuckerberg gave the district money and a few Facebook executives to handle how the money was spent.