Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, last week pledged to donate 99 percent of their company shares—currently valued at $45 billion—to support efforts to improve public health, education, and communities.
A portion of that money will go toward backing the popular goal of promoting personalized learning opportunities for students.
Zuckerberg and Chan announced their intentions in a Facebook entry titled, “A letter to our daughter,” newborn Max.
The new parents said their broad ambition is to help their daughter’s generation accomplish two main goals: “advancing human potential and promoting equality.”
One component of achieving those goals, they said, rests partly with the question of “can you learn and experience 100 times more than we do today?”
The couple described a vision for bringing personalized learning that would provide “more equal opportunity to anyone with an Internet connection,” creating the potential to customize lessons to meet students’ academic strengths, weaknesses, and interests.
The Facebook executive and his wife said their donations to education, health, and other areas would be channeled through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which will be set up as a limited liability company. Zuckerberg said he plans to continue to serve as Facebooks’ CEO for “many, many years to come,” and that the distribution of money from the couple’s Facebook shares would occur over the course of their lives.
A version of this article appeared in the December 09, 2015 edition of Education Week as Facebook Founder and Wife to Donate Billions to Education