Law & Courts

ACLU Wants Zuckerberg Gift Records Released

By The Associated Press — October 17, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey has filed a lawsuit against the state’s biggest city for refusing to release records related to a $100 million gift pledged to its schools by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit against Newark on behalf of a parents group denied access to records requested under New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act.

The initial April 1 request sought to review correspondence between Zuckerberg, Newark employees including Democratic Mayor Cory Booker, state officials, and others involved in the deal.

“As parents, as taxpayers, and as citizens, we have a need and right to know how the money pledged to Newark’s public schools will ultimately serve Newark’s public school students,” says Laura Baker, who filed the initial request and has a granddaughter in the 39,440-student school system.

The Booker administration released a statement saying there was no correspondence between the mayor and Zuckerberg. A city spokeswoman said they communicated in person and over the phone.

The $100 million pledge was announced about a year ago by Republican Gov. Chris Christie, Booker, and Zuckerberg as they appeared together on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show.

Zuckerberg described the gift as a “challenge grant” to Booker, who’s trying to raise $100 million more to match what Zuckerberg has promised to contribute over five years.

The gift was presented as a way to try to improve the district, which has been plagued for years by low test scores, poor graduation rates, and crumbling buildings. The district was taken over by the state in 1995 after instances of waste and mismanagement, including the spending of taxpayer money by school board members on cars and restaurant meals.

Parents said they want to know more about how the highly publicized gift would be used.

A version of this article appeared in the October 19, 2011 edition of Digital Directions as ACLU Wants Zuckerberg Gift Records Released

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning
Budget & Finance Webinar Staffing Schools After ESSER: What School and District Leaders Need to Know
Join our newsroom for insights on investing in critical student support positions as pandemic funds expire.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How can districts build sustainable tutoring models before the money runs out?
District leaders, low on funds, must decide: broad support for all or deep interventions for few? Let's discuss maximizing tutoring resources.
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Law & Courts Supreme Court Turns Down Case Challenging School District's Transgender Policies
The case involves a policy allowing information to be withheld from parents considered not supportive of a gender-transitioning child.
3 min read
This Oct. 4, 2018, photo shows the U.S. Supreme Court at sunset in Washington. The Supreme Court has declined to take up an appeal from parents in Oregon who want to prevent transgender students from using locker rooms and bathrooms of the gender with which they identify, rather than their sex assigned at birth.
This Oct. 4, 2018, photo shows the U.S. Supreme Court at sunset in Washington. The court has declined to take up an appeal from parents in Maryland challenging a school district's policy on gender-support plans for students.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
Law & Courts District Can Deny Opt-Outs on LGBTQ+ Books, Court Rules
Religious parents objected to a Maryland district's policy ending opt-outs for elementary school 'storybooks' with LGBTQ+ themes.
5 min read
A pedestrian passes by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Courthouse, June 16, 2021, on Main Street in Richmond, Va.
A person walks near the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit's courthouse in Richmond, Va. A panel of the court denied an injunction seeking to restore religious parents' opportunity to opt their children out of LGBTQ+ "storybooks" in a Maryland district.
Steve Helber/AP
Law & Courts Brown v. Board of Education: 70 Years of Progress and Challenges
The milestone for the historic 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down racial segregation in schools is marked by a range of tributes
12 min read
People mill around the third floor of the Kansas Statehouse in front of a Brown v. Board of Education mural before hearing from speakers recognizing the 70th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case on April 29, 2024 in Topeka, Kan.
People mill around the third floor of the Kansas Statehouse in front of a Brown v. Board of Education mural before hearing from speakers recognizing the 70th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case on April 29, 2024 in Topeka, Kan.
Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP
Law & Courts Republican-Led States Sue to Block New Title IX Rule
A pair of lawsuits focus on the rule's protections for students' gender identity.
5 min read
Demonstrators advocating for transgender rights and healthcare stand outside of the Ohio Statehouse on Jan. 24, 2024, in Columbus. Four Republican-led states filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the Biden administration's new Title IX regulation, which among other things would codify protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Demonstrators advocating for transgender rights and healthcare stand outside of the Ohio Statehouse on Jan. 24, 2024, in Columbus. Four Republican-led states filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the Biden administration's new Title IX regulation, which among other things would codify protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Patrick Orsagos/AP