Netflix education fund to give $100M to minority students
Reed Hastings, founder and chief officer of Netflix, announced he will be creating a $100 million foundation for education. The Netflix education fund is intended to help close the achievement gap for minority students.
With grants totaling $1.5 million to the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley and UNCF scholarship funds, the Hastings Fund’s aim is at aiding minority students. The goal of this particular Netflix education fund is to partner with communities to increase the number of students who have access to quality higher education.
Netflix education fund intent?
The Hastings Fund’s chief executive, Neerav Kingsland, is a major charter school proponent. Kingsland previously ran New Schools for New Orleans, a nonprofit that hugely reshaped the city’s post Katrina education system. Kingsland will continue in his current role as senior fellow for the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Over the past four years, the foundation has provided $150 million to education groups such as, Teach for America, charter school support organizations and various charter schools nationwide.
Joining the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, Hastings is another tech billionaire interested in using their assets to improve education. Some critics say these philanthropists are circumventing the democratic system by trying to reform education based on their own ideals. Hastings isn’t bothered by critics and has a long history working in the field, serving four years on the California state board of education. This Netflix education fund initiative, to me, shows his commitment to raising equality in educational resources and gives him some credibility in his philanthropy.
Hastings has supported education organizations that promote charter over traditional schools and online learning primarily. Previously, he has dedicated resources to help start the New Schools Venture Fund, a large funder of ed tech start-ups and charter schools, as well as Aspire Public Schools, a charter school network. Hastings has also supported Rocketship Education, an organization which combines online and face-to-face learning techniques, as well as the Khan Academy, that provides schools nationwide with online teaching videos.
This donation should go a long way toward providing educational resources for the minority students who need it – I look forward to more from Hastings and his company when it comes to education funding.