Tech Giant Makes Big Bet on Public Schools


While education is at the top of the list for many donors, the bulk of Silicon Valley's tech money goes to charter schools and national organizations. In 2013, Salesforce identified a great need amongst public schools. They have since partnered with San Francisco Unified School District and Oakland Unified School District to finance new programs and expose more kids to computer science.

Salesforce awards $100,000 annually to middle school principals to pilot new programs. Considered the "CEO of the classroom," principals tend to be most in tune with their students' needs. If successful, the program is incorporated into the curriculum and receives ongoing funding. Last year, several Oakland principals used the grants to hire social workers to support immigrant and refugee students.

Only 25 percent of U.S. schools offer computer science classes. With the help of Salesforce, San Francisco has become the country's first school district to offer computer science curriculum to all grade levels. Over the last 5 years, they have seen the number of girls taking computer science classes increase 2,000 percent; the number of low-income and students of color up 6,600 percent. In addition to priming a strong tech workforce, Salesforce is leveling the playing field. Diversifying the pipeline today should lead to a more diverse industry later on. LEARN MORE