On today’s Oprah Winfrey Show, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker launched the Partnership for Education in Newark, an unprecedented commitment to improve public education, with the support of Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Governor Christie and Mayor Booker have committed to a bipartisan initiative to ensure every school-aged child in Newark has access to a high-quality education that prepares them for a successful future and a better quality of life. To begin this new Partnership, the Governor has authorized Mayor Booker to work with the local community to develop and implement a comprehensive education plan for the future of the Newark Public School District, based on clear standards and metrics that reward excellence in teaching, school leadership and student achievement. The plan will be carried out under the Mayor's leadership over the next few years.
To support these efforts, Zuckerberg announced the creation of a new foundation – Startup: Education -- with an initial gift of $100 million to improve educational opportunities for young people in America. The foundation’s first project will be to measurably improve academic achievement for Newark students and create a national model for rewarding excellence in education. Mayor Booker has also announced the creation of the Newark Education and Youth Development Fund, a separate non-profit organization whose goal is to secure an additional $100 million to match the challenge grant available through Zuckerberg’s foundation, as well as an additional $50 million to serve disaffected youth.
“Mayor Booker and I are thrilled to accept Mark Zuckerberg’s challenge – to work with the Newark community to dramatically elevate the potential of public education in the City of Newark, throughout New Jersey and across the nation,” said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. “Collectively, we believe the best way to secure and improve our nation’s future is to create the highest quality public education system in the world. There is no better place to begin this journey than in Newark, a city of both great progress and potential.”
“We’re grateful that this young, innovative entrepreneur is so dedicated to helping create the next generation of successful entrepreneurs and leaders. Improving the quality of public education and increasing student achievement in Newark is a top priority of my Administration, and I am so grateful that Mark Zuckerberg shares our commitment and belief in the genius and limitless potential of Newark’s students,” said Cory A. Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. “We know that investing in educational excellence today will create the foundation for Newark’s prosperity and competitiveness in the decades ahead. With this incredible investment and the steadfast commitment of our school leaders and teachers to improve youth outcomes, it is my belief that the pathway to nationwide public education excellence starts in Newark.”