Oprah Winfrey was ranked 141st on Forbes' 400 richest in U.S., but lost $400 million in one year.
Aspire Public Schools was one of six public school reform groups honored with grants from the talk show host on Monday.
The gift came during a show Winfrey devoted to a new documentary about public education called "Waiting for Superman."
Summit Preparatory Charter High School in Redwood City, one of the schools featured in the film, also was singled out for praise on Monday's "Oprah."
The other charter networks that received grants are in Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston, Denver and New Orleans.