Is Facebook founder Zuckerberg really Newark’s friend?

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

By Talia Whyte


Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is expected to announce that he is making a $100 million donation to create an educational foundation for the Newark, N.J. school system on The Oprah Winfrey Show today. He will appear alongside New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who is expected to find matching donations for a total of $200 million.

Under an agreement with Gov. Christie, Booker will take back most authority over the school system, which has been under state control for the last 15 years due to mismanagement in the city in the early 1990s. The donation is much needed, as Newark has one of the worst school systems in the country, where nearly half of the city’s high school students end up dropping out. In addition, New Jersey recently missed out on a $400 million federal education grant due to a clerical mistake. So, Zuckerberg’s “friending” of this school system with about 40,000 students and a budget this year of nearly $940 million comes at an optimal moment.

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