Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings has announced the creation of a $100 million fund that will further education improvement causes across the US and worldwide.
The Netflix chief is a long-time supporter of education and charter schools that has joined Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg’s efforts to disrupt education through innovative ideas.
Hastings announced on his Facebook page the creation of the Hastings Fund that will support education initiatives in the country. He wrote:
“I’m thrilled to announce that I’m funding a new $100m philanthropic fund for education, creatively named the Hastings Fund, through the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.”He added: “I’m so blessed to be able to do this, and I hope to do more in the future. Thanks to all of you who are Netflix members or employees for making this possible.”
The Hastings Fund has already announced donations to educational organizations including a $1.5 million donation to the United Negro College Fund and the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, the Washington Post reports. The donation aims at helping minority students’ receive a college education:
“The goal of these investments is to provide students of color with exceptional post-secondary educational experiences,” the Fund says on its official website.
Explaining the Fund’s mission, the Hastings Fund says:
“[T]oo many children do not have access to amazing schools. Our aim is to partner with communities to significantly increase the number of students who have access to rich and holistic educational experiences.”
Neerav Kingsland will manage the $100 million fund. Kingsland, who is a well-known supporter of charter schools, has through the Laura and John Arnold Foundation helped deliver nearly $150 million to education startups, groups and institutions.
It is not the first initiative Hastings has been involved with in the education sphere. He has been on the California state board of education for four years and has lobbied for a less strict charter school law in the state, Emma Brown writes for the Washington Post. Hastings both financed and led the 1998 campaign that successfully made it easier for organizations to launch new charter schools in California.
The Netflix CEO has also supported in the past Khan Academy and Rocketship Education, a network of public charter schools aimed at low-income learners. Hastings has helped develop another education fund, the NewSchools Venture Fund, that focuses on charter school support.
Among his education-centered initiatives is the funding of Aspire Public Schools, a charter network startup, and EdVoice, a California-based nonprofit group with more than 50,000 parents, educators and education leaders lobbying for an improvement of educational attainment equality.
Hastings and his wife have committed to the Giving Pledge, agreeing to give away a large percentage of their wealth to charity, Engadget reports.
Reed Hastings is also on the board of several education organizations including the KIPP Foundation, DreamBox Learning, and the Pahara Institute, Joanne Jacobs reports for EducationNext.