The New Jersey Board of Education voted Wednesday to accept gifts totaling $630,000 from foundations led by billionaire education donors Eli Broad and Mark Zuckerberg, The Star-Ledger writes.
The move marked the first time in many years that the board had considered accepting private donations, the Newark newspaper previously reported.
The panel unanimously approved taking $430,000 from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation for training and professional development and $200,000 from Startup: Education, a group launched by Mr. Zuckerberg, the Facebook co-founder, to support grant writing, travel, and other costs associated with seeking partners for schools initiatives.
The board rejected a request from Newark advocacy group the Education Law Center to defer action on the donations. The center sought the release of documents related to the grants and criticized the panel for acting “outside the normal bidding process.”
Christopher Cerf, the state’s acting education commissioner, called the group’s objections “baseless.”