ACLU Sues Newark over $100M Gift From Facebook Boss

Parents group demands to know how money will be spent

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    NEWSLETTERS

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker, left, introduces Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg to 11th grade students to highlight the $100 million deal with New Jersey schools.

    Not everyone is happy about the $100 million donation Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg gave Newark to improve its troubled schools.

    The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the city on behalf of a parents group because details about how the money will be spent have been kept under wraps. The suit says that plans, and in particular, any written correspondence between city and state officials and Zuckerberg, are subject to New Jersey's Open Public Records Act.

    "As parents, as taxpayers and as citizens, we have a need and right to know how the money pledged to Newark's public schools will ultimately serve Newark's public school students," Laura Baker, who filed the initial request and has a granddaughter in the school system, told The Associated Press.

    Mayor Cory Booker's administration said there was no correspondence between the mayor and Zuckerberg, and a city spokeswoman said the mayor and mogul communicated in person and by phone.

    The $100 million pledge was announced last year by Gov. Chris Christie, Booker and Zuckerberg in a joint appearance on "Oprah."

    Zuckerberg said he made the grant to help the troubled district, which has long been plagued by low test scores and a lack of resources, improve.