(Photo by Britta Pedersen | Getty Images)
Tech giant Salesforce is once again issuing millions in grants to public schools as they face one of their most challenging years to date while the world battles COVID-19.
Last year, the company offered $18.2 million in grants to San Francisco and Oakland schools and has donated $118 million to date. This year Salesforce is donating $9 million to San Francisco Unified School District and $9 million to Oakland Unified School District. $500,000 will also be given to New York, Chicago, and Indianapolis school districts, along with $500,000 to the Courageous Conversation Global Foundation.
“The pandemic really isn’t under control. We want to do everything we can to help our schools,” said Ebony Beckwith, Salesforce’s chief philanthropy officer. “We really try to go beyond the check. We want to be community partners.”
The extra funding comes at a critical time as San Francisco and others begin to face mounting fiscal deficits that are only widened by the race to take classrooms online. Mayor London Breed’s budget proposal last week sought to close that gap while also continuing to invest in essential problems in San Francisco such as education and homelessness. The Mayor’s proposal includes reinvestments of $12.5 million to SFUSD teachers in high turnover schools and $5.5 million to extend the Opportunities for All (OFA) youth internship program.
Gentle Blythe, the district’s deputy superintendent of strategic partnerships and communications, told the SF Chronicle that Salesforce’s donations have paved the way for many successful programs and have trained thousands of local educators.
“Their investment has really made it possible to do some amazing things for our students, including having a comprehensive pre-K-12 computer science program,” said Blythe.
The company is also set to expand it’s data tracking platform,
Mayor Breed personally thanked them in a tweet.
— London Breed (@LondonBreed) August 11, 2020