Since former Mayor James Sharpe has been out of office, Newark public schools have made a 180 degree turnaround. Under the direction of Cory Booker, more after-school programs have been created and students are performing better in standardized tests. Even still, the mayor has been on a mission to get more funding for the suffering school system. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to give the Newark, New Jersey public school system $100 million dollars over the next few years.
The city of Newark, which is located just a few miles south of New York City has been plagued by gang violence, government corruption and deteriorating schools for the past few decades. Middle class parents often enroll their children in private schools, or apply for choice programs that allow their children to be bussed into more affluent neighborhoods. While Booker and Zuckerberg have been accused of using Newark public schools as a platform for publicity, but both deny the charges.
It is not yet known exactly how the money will be used, but considering the fact that the city of Newark has failed to build any new structures in over a decade, some believe that new schools will be built. Educators think that the money can be used to attract more experienced teachers and purchase better textbooks. Newark public school principals want advanced computer labs and students say that they need more public safety officers. While $100 million may seem like a lot of money, the fact is that Newark is a major city that is in dire need.