‘Facebook’ Fund Releases Wish List for Newark Public Schools and Charters

John Mooney | May 29, 2012 | Education
If all goes according to plan, Newark charter schools stand to gain $15 million from fund created by Mark Zuckerberg

The Foundation for Newark’s Future, the fund created from Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million gift to Newark public schools, will soon commit approximately $15 million to the city’s charter schools — nearly doubling its overall outlay so far.

As the new partnership with the Newark Charter School Fund is wrapped up, the foundation last week also released new details and developments about the nearly $15.9 million the foundation has committed to date.

The following is the list of commitments, in size order, according to the foundation:

Newark Public Schools — Operational Excellence: $4 million

Technical assistance and management consulting for Newark Public School’s Superintendent Cami Anderson’s, particularly with numerous reforms she plans on implementing.

Newark Public Schools — Diagnostic and Transition: $2,845,582

Funds to support a diagnostic assessment of Newark public schools in the first few months of Anderson’s leadership.

PENewark: $2,034,866

An early public campaign that surveyed the Newark community and sought input through community meetings as to how to spend the FNF’s resources.

Teacher Innovation Fund: $600,000

Fund to give cohorts of teachers up to $10,000 in grants each to implement innovative programs in their school buildings. The first round of grants this year gave out $200,000. The next round for next year will distribute another $200,000.

Bard High School Early College: $550,000

NPS offers an accelerated curriculum, with two years of tuition-free college liberal arts program. Students graduate with a New Jersey high school diploma and an Associate in Arts degree from Bard College.

Financial Audit: $550,000

Funding to support NPS in conducting a sophisticated financial audit to better allocate resources.

Newark BRIDGES High School: $500,000

This Newark Public School provides alternatives for children who left the traditional system in order to help them complete high school.

Newark Leadership Academy: $500,000

This NPS school also targets at-risk youth to provide opportunities to achieve academic success and move on to college.

Teach for America: $500,000

Funding to support Teach for America in recruiting, placing, and supporting its corps members in Newark. Greg Taylor, FNF chief executive, said additional funds, yet to be determined, are expected to be committed to TFA.

New Leaders for New Schools — Emerging Leaders and Principals: $500,000

NLNS conducted an “Aspiring Leaders” program with Newark public schools to create a school leadership pipeline for NPS. Additional funding is not expected, Taylor said.

Parent Call Center: $400,000

Funding to support NPS to create a central call center for parents to get answers to school-related questions and address concerns.

Roseville Community Charter School: $350,000

Provides Roseville Charter School with resources necessary to fund the school’s initial scale-up costs, and assist in the first two years of operation.

People’s Preparatory Charter School: $350,000

Provides People’s Prep, a college prep charter high school, with resources necessary to fund the school’s initial scale-up costs, and assist in the first two years of operation.

Newark Education Trust — Shared Campus: $350,000

Funding to support NPS in facilitating shared-campus sites. Taylor said an additional $350,000 is likely to be committed.

Education Pioneers: $307,000

Funding to support graduate fellows serving at education organizations in Newark.

Great Oaks Charter School: $300,000

Funding to support the growth of Great Oaks “Tutor Corps,” providing small-group instruction to the school’s students.

Newark Education Trust — Innovative Schools Pooled Fund: $250,000

FNF contribution to a pooled fund with other funders that was made available to new NPS school models in Newark, including BRICK Avon and the Global Village Zone. Additional funds expected for two new single-gender schools planned for the district.

Hetrick-Martin Institute — Sakia Gunn High School: $225,000

Planning dollars to open a new NPS high school, Sakia Gunn, that seeks to provide safe and inclusive education of all young people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Princeton Center for Leadership Training — Peer Group Connection: $180,000

Mentoring at three Newark high schools

First Book — My Very Own Library: $176,000

Providing 10 free books to Newark elementary students at eight NPS schools to create their own home libraries.

Big Picture Learning – Newark STEAM Academy: $175,000

Planning dollars to open a new NPS school that would offer students a curriculum focused on science, engineering, the arts, and technology.

Community Foundation of NJ — Equity Grants for Shared Campuses: $110,000

Purchase of items such as Smart Boards, air conditioners, and furniture to ensure equity at district schools sharing campus sites with charter schools.

Institute for Community Peace — Engaging Newark Community: $100,000

Establishment and facilitation of a new community advisory board to incorporate community voices into FNF’s work.

Pathways to College — Continuation of Program at Newark High Schools: $100,000

Support for a local college access program for at-risk youth.