By the numbers

Mark Zuckerberg’s education giving so far has topped $300 million. Here’s a list of where it’s going

Read our full story on the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s education giving here.

Chalkbeat attempted to compile grants issued or promised in 2016 or later and classified as part of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s education giving. This includes 19 grants provided by CZI, as well as information provided by other organizations or available publicly. We aimed to exclude education-oriented grants focused on Silicon Valley, which CZI classifies separately.

What we collected includes over 50 groups and about $137 million of the $308 million CZI says it has donated to education-related causes.

It’s highly likely that not every group CZI has donated to is on this list, and we don’t how much money some groups on it received. It’s also possible that some organizations on this list received additional grants that aren’t accounted for.

Finally, we also listed a number of for-profit education companies that CZI has invested in; that’s not part of the $308 million number.

Here’s our list:

Organizations that have received grants from CZI

Reach Every Reader

Grant Amount: $30 million
Grant Reason – CZI: “We are supporting Reach Every Reader, a new initiative aimed at gaining a better understanding of how children learn to read so we can ensure that all can thrive and succeed as readers from an early age. This initiative is led by cutting-edge neuroscience and education research teams from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Integrated Learning Initiative, in partnership with The Florida Center for Reading Research and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.”

College Board

Grant Amount: $13.9 million
Grant Reason – CZI: “With our support, the College Board has expanded access for more than 500,000 students to unique, personalized learning opportunities – including customized SAT practice through Khan Academy, Advanced Placement computer science courses and peer advising through the National College Advising Corps.”

LEAP Innovations

Grant Amount: $10 million
Grant Reason – CZI:“We’re supporting these organizations [LEAP and Chicago Public Schools] to help meet the growing demand from Chicago schools looking to introduce or expand personalized learning instructional models.”

Teach For America

Grant Amount: $10 million
Grant Reason – CZI: “This grant has supported the development of an organization-wide learning strategy, building capacity for rapid learning within the regional affiliate network, and accelerating TFA’s work on increasing the diversity, equity, and inclusion of the educator pipeline.”

EducationSuperHighway

Grant Amount: $8 million
Grant Reason – CZI: “We have supported the work of this organization to help increase the internet connectivity of classrooms across America.”

Turnaround for Children

Grant Amount: $7 million
Grant Reason – CZI: “Our grant assists Turnaround for Children with bringing new knowledge to the field about how to effectively implement and integrate tools to help achieve personalization of learning for all students.”

New Profit

Grant Amount: $6,511,962
Grant Reason – New Profit spokesperson: “For our efforts to support more diverse entrepreneurs in education, we received $500K from CZI in 2017. For our Personalized Learning initiative, which seeks to build capacity and evidence in the nascent field, we received $6,011,962 from CZI in 2017.”

New Schools Venture Fund

Grant Amount: $5 million +

SAGA Innovations

Grant Amount: $5 million
Grant Reason – CZI: “Our support is helping SAGA refine and expand their evidence-based program on intensive tutoring for students who are behind and increasing effectiveness and lowering cost for delivery.”

Pahara Institute

Grant Amount: $4.3 million
Grant Reason – CZI: “We have supported the organization’s fellowships to provide challenging and supportive leadership programs for entrepreneurial leaders in education.”

Chicago Public Schools

Grant Amount: $4 million
Grant Reason – CZI: “We’re supporting these organizations [LEAP and Chicago Public Schools] to help meet the growing demand from Chicago schools looking to introduce or expand personalized learning instructional models.”

Vision to Learn

Grant Amount: $3.3 million
Grant Reason – CZI: “With our support, the organization has provided eyeglasses to tens of thousands of children in the San Francisco Bay area and across the country, removing a critical learning barrier for students without access to vision care. They have given out more than 110,000 glasses to date.”

Chiefs for Change

Grant Amount: $3 million
Grant Reason – Chiefs for Change spokesperson: The grant was for a “transforming schools and systems workgroup.”

Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

Grant Amount: $3 million
Grant Reason – CZI: “Grant supports the Woodrow Wilson Teaching and Learning Academy’s efforts to help people studying to be teachers to learn at their own pace, personalizing their learning experience, and connecting what they learn to evidence-based learning approaches.”

Results for America

Grant Amount: $2.9 million
Grant Reason – CZI: “We support RFA’s work to improve the use of evidence in shaping policy among state and district education agencies through their What Works Districts initiative and their State Education Leaders Evidence Fellowship program.”

Together For Students, a partnership between The Coalition for Community Schools, Communities In Schools, and StriveTogether

Grant Amount: $2,283,200
Grant Reason – Communities in Schools spokesperson: “Together for Students (formerly known as Students at the Center) is an initiative designed to advance a student-centered learning movement that unites families, educators and local partners. The grant supports: the work of 10 communities as they design localized blueprints to improve student learning experiences; the three partner organizations as they provide training and technical assistance to the 10 communities, and a February 2018 convening of 106 communities interested in applying for the project.”

Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation

Grant Amount: $2.25 million
Grant Reason – CDEF: “CDEF partnered with the California Department of Education (CDE) and technology company Declara to launch the Collaboration In Common (CiC) platform and support the state’s #GoOpen campaign. CiC provides a social network for professional learning communities that provides tools and resources to promote sharing and collaboration between educators and educational organizations across the state. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative grant will be used to support CiC and enhancements to the Declara platform to accelerate personalized learning and professional growth.”

New Teacher Center

Grant Amount: $1.7 million
Grant Reason – CZI: “Our grant supports their work to develop and provide professional development support on personalized learning strategies to educators.”

The Opportunity Institute

Grant Amount: $1,524,534

Grant Reason – Opportunity Institute: CZI is supporting the group’s Science of Learning and Development Initiative, which aims to “elevate the science of learning and development as a key driver of system transformation in education policy and practice, advancing deep personalization of learning and the learning experience to support all students in achieving their full potential.”

CZI is also supporting the Partners for Each and Every Child, “to build an infrastructure of interconnected work that will encourage a growing portion of the education policy community to break down barriers to advance sound educational policies, attentive to matters of equity and responsive to the needs of at-risk, under-served, and politically underrepresented students.”

Rhode Island Office of Innovation

Grant Amount: $1.5 million
Grant Reason – RI Office of Innovation spokesperson: The grant is going “to support the state’s personalized learning initiative.”

Digital Promise

Grant Amount: $1.4 million
Grant Reason – CZI: “Our grant supports their efforts to pilot and refine solutions to collaborative challenges around real-world learning through the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, their flagship network that represents 93 districts in 33 states.”

TNTP

Grant Amount: $1.25 million
Grant Reason – CZI: “Our grant supports TNTP’s work on understanding student engagement and supporting the personalized learning efforts of partner school districts.”

Harvard Graduate School of Education and Stephanie Jones

Grant Amount: $1.1 million
Grant Reason – CZI: “Our grant supports efforts to research and develop simple strategies and classroom activities for teachers to easily incorporate social-emotional learning into their classrooms.”

Education Post

Grant Amount: $1 million
Grant Reason – Education Post executive director: Half of the grant went to general operating support and half went to Education Post’s California blog La Comadre.

Surge Institute

Grant Amount: $1 million
Grant Reason – CZI: “We have supported Surge’s efforts to elevate and support leaders of color.”

Lindsay Unified School District

Grant Amount: $775,000
Grant Reason – Lindsay Unified’s website: The grant is to “advance Lindsay’s Performance Based System.”

CASEL

Grant Amount: $750,000
Grant Reason – CZI: “We are supporting CASEL’s engagement of key leaders and advisors to ensure that their framework and the broad definition of social and emotional learning (SEL) reflects the latest science and best practices in the field. Findings will inform the continued development and refinement of CASEL’s suite of practical resources to support those in the field prioritizing this work.”

Common Sense Media

Grant Amount: $750,000
Grant Reason – Common Sense Media spokesperson: Two-year grant is “for our Privacy Evaluations and our overall Education programs … Common Sense rates and reviews ed tech products on the degree to which they protect student privacy and security. We publish these ratings on the Common Sense education website as a complement to our overall Ed Tech Ratings to evaluate learning quality. CZI is one of three funders of the initiative.”

International Society for Technology in Education

Grant Amount: $720,000
Grant Reason – CZI: “We are supporting this organization as it examines new strategies to incorporate learning science into professional learning for educators.”

EdSurge

Grant Amount: $700,000
Grant Reason – July post on EdSurge: Grant is for a research project meant “to explore how school communities across the country are changing to meet the needs of all learners.” The project includes “convening educators and school leaders” and “a collection of stories.”

ReSchool Colorado

Grant Amount: $700,000
Grant Reason – ReSchool Colorado spokesperson: “The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative granted $700,000 to support ReSchool’s Learner Advocate Network and out of school work. To date, we have received $350,000.”

Edutopia

Grant Amount: $500,000
Grant Reason – Edutopia spokesperson: The grant is “to assist Edutopia with producing and publishing a video series for and in collaboration with the National Commission on Social Emotional and Academic Development: profiling schools with impactful approaches to social, emotional and academic development and translating research into practice.”

Council of Chief State School Officers

Grant Amount: $388,938
Grant Reason – CCSSO spokesperson: “This year, we are using this grant funding as part of our efforts to support states that are working to expand access to quality personalized, competency-based education that will lead to improved outcomes for all students, largely through the creation of innovative assessment systems.”

Achievement First Public Charter Schools

Grant Amount: $350,000
Grant Reason – Achievement First spokesperson: Grant is for AF’s Greenfield program.

Education Leaders of Color

Grant Amount: $300,000
Grant Reason – Education Leaders of Color spokesperson: Grant is to “1) identify and equip the field with values-aligned leadership, 2) align our members toward common advancement of policies and practices, and 3) provide access to resources through the Boulder Fund.”

Chalkbeat

Grant Amount: $250,000
Grant Reason – CZI: “We support Chalkbeat’s coverage of education policy and practice.”

GO Public Schools

Grant Amount: $250,000
Grant Reason – GO Public Schools spokesperson: “A couple of years ago, GO received funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to support efforts to refresh our policy agenda and explore launching in Fresno.” A report recently issued by GO acknowledges funding from CZI and others.

InnovateEDU

Grant Amount: $160,000
Grant Reason – InnovateEDU executive director: The grant was issued through the Silicon Schools Fund and used to create a “community of practice” known as Data Whiz among schools leaders and personalized learning managers.

Matthew Biel of MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

Grant Amount: $75,000
Grant Reason – CZI press release: Grant is for “piloting evidence-based approaches to promote self-care skills, stress management, and emotional wellbeing for teachers in the D.C. area.”

Center for American Progress

Grant Amount: $15,000
Grant Reason – CAP spokesperson: CZI grant is “to explore the science of learning. With their modest support and other foundation support, we held a convening to discuss options for improving education based on the latest research on how students learn best.”

Grantmakers for Education

Grant Reason: Sponsor of its annual conference.

Hechinger Report

Grant Reason – Hechinger: Grant “helps support our ‘Future of Learning’ coverage.”

Learning Policy Institute

Grant Reason – LPI spokesperson: “We are part of a consortium of organizations that is working on synthesizing evidence from the sciences of learning and development and drawing out the implications for practice.”

Newark schools

Grant Reason – CZI spokesperson: “As part of our commitment to Newark’s students and educators, we provided funding to meet emerging community needs identified by the district to ensure a smooth transition to local control.”

Summit Public Schools

Grant Reason – Summit spokesperson: “In our own schools in CA and WA we have used [CZI’s] support to:

  • Staff a dedicated Research & Development team to work on continuous improvement of the Summit Learning instructional approach;
  • Launch and operate a Teacher Residency Program, designed specifically to build a long-term, sustainable pipeline of diverse teachers prepared to lead high-quality, personalized instruction in Summit Learning classrooms
  • Purchase and construct school facilities.

The funding they provide also helps enable us to deliver the Summit Learning Program, for free, to schools across the country. This includes the cost of:

  • Three free professional development convenings each year for upwards of 2,500 educators in more than a dozen cities across the country
  • The creation of a robust, project-based teacher-created curriculum for grades 4-12.
  • A team of dedicated mentors who personally coach Summit Learning Program schools on an ongoing basis
  • A dedicated professional development team which builds and facilitates adult learning experiences.”

Other CZI grantees

  • Camelback Ventures
  • Character Lab
  • Charter School Growth Fund
  • Latinos for Education
  • New Leaders
  • New Classrooms
  • Project Evident

Companies that have received investments from CZI

  • Age of Learning
  • BYJU’s – The Learning App
  • RaiseMe
  • Ellevation
  • Panorama Education
  • Sawyer
  • Brightwheel
  • Varsity Tutors
  • MasteryConnect
  • VolleyLabs

Correction: A previous subheadline incorrectly identified organizations that received grants from CZI as exclusively nonprofits.

voices of the vote

Meet Denver teachers who voted yes to a strike, no to a strike — and just aren’t sure

PHOTO: PHOTO: Andy Cross/The Denver Post
Skinner Middle School math teacher Peter English walks out of the Riverside Baptist Church with his son, Landon, left, and daughter Brooke strapped to his chest after voting on whether to go on strike ()

Throughout the day, the parking lot of Riverside Baptist Church filled up as Denver teachers made their way into a meeting organized by their union, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association.  

Months of negotiations that failed to produce a deal between top leaders of Denver Public Schools and the union had given way to individual teachers facing a choice: To strike or not?

Along with reporting the news of the day — which you can read about here — Chalkbeat spent time visiting with teachers to get a sense of what was shaping their decision-making.

Most teachers we spoke with, both in depth and in passing, said they voted “yes” to strike. Union officials have said two-thirds of those who vote Saturday and in a second session Tuesday must sign off on a strike for it to proceed, and the prevailing wisdom among teachers we interviewed was that support is strong.

The decision, though, is far from black and white for many teachers, regardless of where they ultimately land.

Here are the stories of three teachers, all at different places:

Krista Skuce, Slavens K-8 school: Yes to strike

At the urging of teachers and parents, Slavens K-8 students turned out early on a few recent mornings to show support for their teachers. They wore red in solidarity and posed for pictures.

They also brought questions. “Why are you doing this?” was one.

Krista Skuce, a physical education teacher and 14-year Denver Public Schools employee, would tell students that she lives 40 minutes from the school because she can’t afford to live in Denver.

Krista Skuce

But there is more to her story. Her spouse, she said, is no longer able to work, beset by medical issues, unable to draw disability benefits, and in need of costly care including massage therapy, chiropractic appointments, neuromuscular therapies, and more.  

At the same time, Skuce said her pay “doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.” So she hustles, earning extra pay by driving across town to coach softball and basketball.

Skuce, like many teachers who stopped to talk about their votes on Saturday, believes the district can do more to boost teachers’ base pay — before bonuses and incentives.  

She said her salary has only increased $4,000 or $5,000 in the past 14 years, even though she has been teaching 27 years, has a master’s degree, and is National Board Certified.

Skuce said she knows that by voting to strike, she could very well end up taking money out of her own bank account. Striking teachers don’t get paychecks.

“I am hoping the district and the DCTA do the right thing and recognize the fact that there are some people here who are on the edge,” she said. “We are on the edge emotionally, financially. We know these are good people. And I think teachers are people who wake up every morning with forgiveness.

“You have to take a stand and say what you are for at some point in time in your life — and this is it,” she said. “I’m willing to do it, scary or not.”  

Jason Clymer, John F. Kennedy High School: No to strike

An English teacher at John F. Kennedy High School, Jason Clymer stands with his fellow union members in the belief teachers aren’t paid enough. He finds fault with what is asked of teachers through LEAP, the district’s growth and performance system for teachers.

“Teachers at my school feel extremely micromanaged and can’t catch a breath,” he said.  

But in the end, after being one of the first teachers in the door Saturday and attending an information session, Clymer said he voted against the strike.

“Going on strike is very hard,” said Clymer, whose wife works in human resources for the district’s central office. “And I think the agreement DPS came to was close enough.”

Clymer questioned focusing energy on what is under negotiation now: ProComp, the pay system that provides teachers one-time bonuses for things like teaching in a high-poverty school, getting strong evaluations, having students who earn high test scores, or teaching in a high-performing school.

He said he’d like to save some political leverage to focus on other issues covered by the district’s main contract with the union.

“It’s really unfortunate these things can’t all be negotiated together,” he said. “If the district came out and said, ‘We want to give you more money, not as much as you like, but we want to devote more to things like mental health services,’ I really think that would be a winning argument.”

In opposing a strike, Clymer said that he did not want to divide his fellow teachers

“Although I voted no, I believe in the union,” he said. “And if the union voted to strike, I will absolutely support the union.”

Paula Zendle, Denver Green School: Undecided about strike

Paula Zendle is dreading the moment that is appearing increasingly likely: standing before her students at the Denver Green School and explaining why she won’t be there to teach them.

“I tell them constantly, ‘Don’t miss school, don’t miss school. Don’t be absent, don’t be absent, don’t be absent,’” said Zendle, her eyes welling up with tears as she waited on a friend. “I have been fighting to avoid a strike. I hate this. It’s utterly and totally agonizing to me.”

Paula Zendle

Zendle said she left a career in the corporate world for the classroom and has been teaching eight years. She teaches English language acquisition and Spanish at the Green School, a popular and highly-rated middle school option in a district that celebrates choice.

 Zendle said she has done her research and written to the district’s chief financial officer. What bothers her is a system she believes rewards younger teachers and underpays teachers in terms of the cost of living.  

The average Denver teacher currently earns about $51,000 in base pay and $57,000 with incentives, according to data from the state education department and the district. That’s less than teachers in districts like Boulder Valley, Cherry Creek, and Littleton.

District officials have agreed to put $20 million more into teacher compensation and defended their most recent offer on Saturday as “compelling.”

For Zendle, the prospect of facing her students — and that she works in a supportive school environment — is contributing to her struggle in deciding whether to vote “yes” to strike.

So if the moment does come, what will she tell her students?

“We have the right to protest unfair taxpayer spending,” she said. “This is not only unfair, it’s unconscionable. Their priorities have been wrong for 10 years.”

Then she paused and made clear that her decision had not been made. She considers herself a person of principle, and that will guide her in making a decision.

lesson plan

Denver hopes to keep its schools open in a strike — and the union wants you to send your kids

PHOTO: Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post
Students eat lunch in the cafeteria at Dora Moore K-8 School in Denver.

Superintendent Susana Cordova says she is committed to keeping Denver schools open and continuing to educate students in the event of a strike.

In Los Angeles, where a teacher strike is entering its second week, many students are watching movies and playing games. Cordova said she plans to do more for the 71,000 students in district-run schools if teachers vote to strike and state intervention does not lead to a deal. The 21,000 students who attend charter schools will not be affected.

“We want to assure parents school will stay open,” she said. “We know it is critically important that we focus on the education of our kids. Sixty percent of our kids qualify for free and reduced-price lunch. We know they depend on school not just for their meals but for their access to opportunity.”

Negotiations broke down Friday between the district and the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, the union that represents teachers and special service providers such as nurses, school psychologists, and counselors. A strike vote is taking place in two sessions, one Saturday and another Tuesday. The earliest a strike could start is Jan. 28.

This would be the first strike in 25 years in the state’s largest school district. In 1994, the district used more than 1,000 substitutes to keep schools open, though many parents kept their children at home, something union leaders encouraged.

It’s not clear yet how high teacher participation in a strike would be. During the final week of bargaining, some teachers reported near universal support in their buildings, while others said some of their colleagues were uncertain. Some teachers have said they disagree with the union position in the negotiations and won’t participate as a matter of principle.

Teachers who strike do not get paid while they are not at work.

Cordova said the district is “in the process of building out our sub pool” and offering higher pay to those willing to work during a strike. But she declined to say how many substitutes the district could call on, and some teachers say they already have a hard time finding subs for routine absences.

Substitutes who work during a strike will earn $200 a day, double the normal rate, and “super subs” who work more than a certain number of days a year will get $250.

Many central office staff who have past teaching experience will be sent to schools to work with students. Cordova said the district is working on pre-packaged lesson plans for every grade and subject area so that learning can still take place, and officials will prioritize placing qualified staff members with special education and preschool students, those she deemed most vulnerable.

Students who get free or reduced-price lunch will still be able to eat in school cafeterias.

For its part, the union is encouraging parents to send their children to school, but with a different purpose.

“One major goal of a strike is for school buildings to be shut down as a demonstration of the essential labor performed by educators,” the union wrote in an FAQ document. “To this end, we encourage parents to send their students to school if their school building remains open. Student safety is paramount for all district schools, therefore the district will be obliged to close schools if safety becomes an issue due to limited staffing.”

Union officials said they were working to establish alternative daytime care with community partners like churches and Boys and Girls Clubs should schools close.