Benioff, Salesforce to give $8.5 million to SF, Oakland schools

[…] his company’s nonprofit foundation has written $13.5 million in checks, and the results are starting to come in, district officials said. The foundation is not only donating an additional $6 million to try to keep the momentum going in San Francisco schools, but also spreading its wealth and motivational message to Oakland, where the East Bay school district will get its own $2.5 million check. When he started Salesforce, Benioff adopted a philosophy that 1 percent of company equity, 1 percent of profit in the form of product donations and 1 percent of employee time should be dedicated to philanthropic efforts. In San Francisco, district officials credited the Salesforce donation with spurring innovation and improving tech infrastructure to bolster computer science and math instruction. The money helped pay for additional staff, including math coaches, as well as laptops and teacher training, and ushered in smaller class sizes — to 24 students in eighth-grade math, down from 33. […] every middle school principal has received a $100,000 “innovation grant” each year to use at his or her discretion, money that has bought robotics programs, 3-D printers and new libraries, among other things. Test scores this year in math were up slightly across district middle schools, with nearly half of students meeting or exceeding state standards. Test scores might not yet reflect the impact of the funding, but what’s happening in the classrooms does, said Ebony Frelix, senior vice president of philanthropy and engagement at The rows of desks and students with pencils and paper are gone, replaced by clusters of kids huddled over tablets and laptops. Oakland will also earmark money for technology and math, with a focus on increasing African American and Latino participation in science and tech careers.


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