Oprah Donates $6 Million to Charter Schools

Underfunded schools receive a $1 million boost

By Elliott Beazley
|  Tuesday, Sep 21, 2010  |  Updated 7:04 AM PDT
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The World's Most Powerful Women

AP

Oprah Winfrey was ranked 141st on Forbes' 400 richest in U.S., but lost $400 million in one year.

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Oprah Winfrey often puts her money where her mouth is, but recently she put it where her heart is.

The TV talk show hostess donated $6 million in grants to six charter educational networks in Philadelphia, California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana and Texas in order to help fund innovative educational techniques. Philadelphia's Mastery Schools, for instance, employ a longer school day and year than traditional schools. They lack funding, however, and none of the seven schools in their network have cable service or after school programs.

The announcement came on Monday as Oprah hosted an education reform panel that included Bill Gates and Davis Guggenheim, who directed the upcoming documentary "Waiting for Superman," which follows five children who enter a lottery to win a place in a high-performing school.

Winfrey handed out large mock checks to officials from each network. Leaders were thrilled with the donation.

Oprah announced the grants would be the last monies handed out by the Angel Network, which will shut down once the hostess moves her show to cable.

The Angel Network has raised more than $80 million in the last 10 years.

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