Salesforce.org, the philanthropic arm of customer relationship management software provider Salesforce.com, has announced grants totaling $8.5 million to improve public education in San Francisco and Oakland.
The commitments include a fourth consecutive year of support for the San Francisco Unified School District and the launch of a partnership with the Oakland Unified School District to improve computer science education. The $6 million grant to SFUSD will enable the district to hire ten math teachers and coaches and expand computer science instruction in its twenty-one middle schools; provide assistive technology for special education students through its Assistive Technology Innovation Center; and continue the Principal's Innovation Fund, which awards $100,000 in discretionary funds to middle school principals for use in their schools. OUSD will receive $2.5 million to pilot a Principal's Innovation Fund at six middle schools; boost STEM programming and increase the number of African American and Latino students taking STEM courses; provide increased support for the teaching of mathematics in district schools; and launch a number of Future Centers aimed at increasing students’ college and career awareness.
In addition to the funding, Salesforce will provide twenty thousand employee volunteer hours in Bay Area schools during the 2016-17 school year.
"Computer science knowledge has become essential in today's job market, and it's imperative that students gain the technical skills they need to be successful in the future," said Ebony Frelix, senior vice president of philanthropy and engagement at Salesforce. "It's been incredible to see the growth of computer science programs in San Francisco through our work with SFUSD and Mayor [Ed] Lee, and we're excited to extend our partnership to Oakland and Mayor [Libby] Schaaf."