EDISON - Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced a $100 million donation to Newark public schools.
Zuckerberg appeared with Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat, on a live episode of the "The Oprah Winfrey Show" Friday.
The 26-year-old CEO announced in a blog post that using Facebook stock, he will invest $100 million into a new foundation called "Startup: Education" that is dedicated to educating and improving the lives of young people.
According to Zuckerberg, the governor has authorized Booker to work with the community to develop and implement a comprehensive education plan for the Newark Public School District.
The plan will be carried out under the mayor's leadership, through a new superintendent that will be selected jointly by the governor and the mayor. Booker also announced the creation of the Newark Education and Youth Development Fund, a separate non-profit organization whose goal is to secure an additional $100 million to match the funds available through Zuckerberg's foundation.
The Newark district has been plagued for years by low test scores, poor graduation rates and crumbling buildings. It was taken over by the state in 1995 after instances of waste and mismanagement.
Mayor Booker says a series of small meetings will take place in October, followed by larger community meetings to follow in November, on how the money will be divided.
Statement from president of the Newark Teacher's Union regarding the donationNJSBA Statement on DonationStatement from State District Superintendent, The Newark Public Schools City of Newark Website's statement, "About Newark's Education Opportunity"