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Newark public schools given $100M gift

Sept. 22, 2010 at 9:06 PM

NEWARK, N.J., Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and chief executive of Facebook, will give $100 million to Newark, N.J., public schools, officials said Wednesday.

Citing officials who confirmed the gift but declined to be identified, The New York Times reported Zuckerberg, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Cory Booker will announce the donation Friday on Oprah Winfrey's syndicated TV show.

Under terms of the gift, Christie would turn over some of the state's control over public schools to Booker. The state took control of Newark schools in 1995 after declaring the city's public education system a failure. Christie would allow Booker to play a major role in naming a new superintendent and retooling the system but reserve the right to take back control of the system, the Times said.

Zuckerberg met Booker in July at a conference and the two have spoken often about Booker's plans for Newark, people familiar with their relationship told the newspaper.

The $100 million donation, intended to finance an educational foundation, would be the largest publicly acknowledged gift by Zuckerberg, who Forces magazine says has an estimated net worth of $2 billion.

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