Silicon Valley Mover Is Force Behind Education Reform

A Silicon Valley entrepreneur was behind the court case over California teachers.

A Silicon Valley "entrepreneur" is behind the nonprofit that led the charge against California teacher tenure rules, which culminated in a major court decision that found the state's teacher protections violated student rights, according to reports.

Dave Welch founded fiber-optic firm Infinera before he started Students Matter because of a "passion" for education, the San Jose Mercury News reported. The newspaper noted that he's only the latest in a series of Silicon Valley bankrollers of education reform -- though most others are donors, not legal doers like Welch.

The Obama Administration also praised the Vergara Decision when it came down, according to reports. It's on hold pending an appeal from teachers' unions, which decried his involvement in education.

Welch's children went to a combination of "public and private" schools, the newspaper reported, and he's donated "millions" to schools in Menlo Park, the newspaper reported. He lives in Atheron in an $8.5 million house, and paid at least $1.1 million to the "high-powered law firm" that won the court case.

He's used donations from the family that founded Walmart to pay the bills as well as his own fortune, which he built after claiming 130 patents as an electrical engineer, angel investor and co-founder of Infinera, the newspaper reported.

Welch took home $2.2 million last year. So why is he so interested in teacher quality at schools his children will never attend?

It's just his "passion" he told the paper.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us