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Education Nation

A solutions-focused conversation about the state of education in America

Booker: $40M Raised for Newark Schools

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    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.

    Newark Mayor Corey Booker says about $40 million has been raised so far to match the schools donation from Facebook's founder.

    Meanwhile, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the National League of Cities announced Monday that New York is among cities receiving $3 million apiece over the next three years for work designed to boost college graduation.

    Booker appeared in Manhattan on Monday with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at NBC News' "Education Nation'' Summit. Zuckerberg previously announced he'lldonate $100 million worth of his company's stock over the next five years for the Newark schools.

    Their outdoor discussion was interrupted by a sudden downpour.

    The rain delayed an appearance by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

    Zuckerberg's donation could be a well-timed publicity move. "The Social Network," a movie about Facebook's origins written by Aaron Sorkin, will be released this Friday, and initial reviews suggest that Zuckerberg is not portrayed well.

    A well-timed donation could help bolster a soon-to-be-tarnished reputation for the young billionaire. But Oprah objected to that allegation of suspicious timing.  She said for one, Zuckerberg wanted to remain anonymous. She said the reason for last week's announcement instead of earlier this summer is because this is the beginning of her fall season.

    As soon as the money was donated, the debate on how to spend it began.

    One educator says Newark should boost pay for standout teachers and consider hiring back some of the educators laid off because of budget restraints.  Another suggests setting up virtual learning programs that let students chat with top teachers.