Morsel of $100 million Facebook donation will go to Newark teachers

Liz Goodwin
The Lookout

A year after Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg announced on "Oprah" that he was giving $100 million to the troubled school system in Newark, N.J., city officials say at least some of that money will go directly to teachers.

About $600,000 will be parceled out in $10,000 grants to teachers who come up with innovative classroom programs, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Newark's school system is under direct state control, and Gov. Chris Christie has encouraged the development of independent charter schools and other reforms there while sparring with the state's teachers union. Newark is one of 11 New Jersey districts that will begin to evaluate teachers based on their students' test scores and other factors this year.

The big donation has attracted some controversy. Newark officials were criticized in January for dropping $1 million on a survey asking residents how to spend the $100 million gift to the city's schools. The survey was unscientific and its answers were too simplistic to be of any use, university professors and city education leaders told the Newark Star-Ledger.