The Ultra Rich and Education

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan with their daughter, Max.

This week Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, his wife, announced that they would be donating a large percentage of their fortune to charity over the course of their lifetimes- roughly 99% of their Facebook shares or about $45 billion. This announcement came in the days leading up to the birth of their first child and was delivered as an open letter to their daughter. They framed their announcement as part of their vision for the better world they hoped for for her in her lifetime and to many this was heralded as a generous and selfless decision. And maybe it was to a certain extent. But by putting their money into an LLC, which is what Zuckerberg and Chan have announced they are going to do, they will avoid paying a large sum of taxes on their enormous fortune. So what might the real effect of their decision be, and in particular what could it mean for the state of education in the United States?

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New Direction for Education: Online? Offline? Online to Offline?

Economic Development Board, one of departments of Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry announced on October 29th that they have participated in series C financing of the education technology giant, Coursera. In August, Coursera has raised almost half billion dollars financing which led by New Enterprise Associates, KPCN, International Finance Corporation and Times Internet Limited. Now investment from the government of Singapore has bringing the series C funding to US$61.1 million. The amount Singapore government has invested in Coursera has not been disclosed. Including this round, Coursera’s total funding so far is around US$146.1 million. Continue reading