The donation is the initial gift to start a foundation for education funded by Zuckerberg, according to the Times.
Under the terms of the gift, New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie will cede some control of the Newark schools back to the city's Democratic Mayor, Cory Booker. The State of New Jersey seized control of the Newark school system in 1995 after the district was declared a failure. The Times reported that Booker will gain some authority to name the superintendent and redesign the system, but the state will retain the power to yank back control.
Friday's episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show is scheduled to be a live discussion of the new education documentary Waiting for "Superman," which opens in select theaters on the same day. This past Monday, Winfrey devoted her entire hour to a panel discussion with the film's director Davis Guggenheim, D.C. schools chief Michelle Rhee, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
According to the Times, the donation to the Newark schools would be the single largest gift that Zuckerberg would be known to have made. Forbes reported the Facebook executive's fortune to be around $2 billion.