Microsoft co founder and one of the world’s richest men Bill Gates announced yesterday that his foundation is set to designate almost $2 billion to U.S. public schools. Funding will go to institutions focused on crafting and developing new teaching techniques.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has already donated $3.4 billion USD to date on public education obviously seeing the cause as extremely pertinent. Money has gone largely to supporting charter schools, and implementing teacher preparation programs.
“Every student should get a great public education and graduate with skills to succeed in the marketplace,” Gates explained at the Council of the Great City Schools conference in Cleveland. “The role of philanthropy here is not to be the primary funder, but rather to fund pilots, to fund new ideas, to let people — it’s always the educators coming up with the ideas — to let them try them out and see what really works super well and get those to scale.”
Gates states that 60 percent of the funds will go to traditional public schools while 15 percent of the money will go to schools designed around students with disabilities. The remainder of the $1.7 billion USD “will be fouled on big bets” such as research and development in schooling.
“The actual tactics about great teaching, about how to reform the schedule, how to get students who are off track on track — those will be driven by the schools themselves,” Gates relayed. “We will let people come to us with the set of approaches they think will work for them in their local context.”