Startup:Education is dedicated to improving the quality of public education in this country by investing in transformational learning experiences to ensure that every child has access to the skills and opportunities they need to reach their full potential. We believe in thoughtful yet catalytic change and supporting innovative education leaders, effective teachers, school models and tools that are leveling the playing field for students. We also believe that targeted investments can give vital support to leaders and organizations and thus be catalysts for much bigger changes in communities.
We have supported a range of initiatives that we believe will have a meaningful impact on the public education system as a whole. To accomplish this, we are dedicated to working with communities to help close the education and opportunity gap. Some of these initiatives include:
- EducationSuperHighway – working to provide access to high-speed internet to every K-12 public school
- TheDream.US - providing college scholarships to highly motivated DREAMers who without financial aid cannot afford a college education that will enable them to participate in the American workforce
- Code.Org – expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color
- Panorama Education – helping school districts, charter networks and state governments to develop and conduct surveys that empower teachers, students and parents to improve schools
- Ravenswood Family Health Center – improving the health status of the local community (East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, Redwood City) by providing high quality, culturally competent primary and preventative health care to people of all ages regardless of insurance, immigration status or ability to pay
Startup:Education, a supporting organization of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, was launched by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan in 2010.
Startup:Education was launched with an initial 5-year gift of $100 million in September, 2010 to improve education in Newark, New Jersey. The focus of this commitment is on improving the quality of teaching and learning in Newark and supporting the growth of high quality new district and charter schools, working to transform the city's public schools so that all children have access to a high quality education.
In May, 2014, Startup:Education is committing $120 million to support initiatives to improve education in underserved communities in the Bay Area over the next 5 years. We will be working with civic, education, community and district leaders to better understand local needs and identify promising innovations and programs in this initiative. We aim to give educators and leaders throughout the Bay Area the resources they need to innovate in the classroom and support students in underserved communities. An important part of our approach will be working with community partners to support and start new district and charter schools that offer high quality teaching and greater opportunities for students, giving people more good choices in their education.
The first $5 million of this fund will be used to support the priorities of district leaders in underserved areas in mid-peninsula school districts including the Ravenswood City School District in East Palo Alto/Belle Haven, Redwood City School District and several other high-need communities in San Francisco. Local educators and community leaders have told us that their priorities are encouraging innovation in the classroom, helping to train a new generation of leaders, and supporting student development. Accordingly, the initial grants will go towards initiatives that help provide computers and connectivity in schools, along with teacher training and parent outreach to make these a really valuable addition to the learning experience. Funds will also be used to support leadership opportunities for students, more effective transitions for students who are moving from middle school to high school, and leadership training for principals.
Please note that Startup:Education does not accept any unsolicited proposals. Startup:Education instead will be doing extensive outreach to civic, education, and community leaders to better understand local needs and to discuss a range of ideas through that engagement.