Booker Says Newark Close to Matching Zuckerberg School Grant

Newark Mayor Cory Booker said the city is “about halfway” to matching a $100 million donation from Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg to schools in New Jersey’s largest city.

“We are about halfway through that and I actually have been working for the past weeks to get more of that matched,” Booker said in an interview on Bloomberg Television in New York. “We should see some pretty big amounts of other people stepping up to match that money.”

Booker and donors such as William Ackman, founder and chief executive officer of Pershing Square Capital Management LP, and Ravenel Curry, co-founder of Eagle Capital Management, announced in September 2010 they had raised $40 million to match the grant.

The district of about 40,000 students is home to 38 of the state’s 164 chronically failing schools. Booker and Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, have both said they favor expanding charter schools and other measures to improve inner-city education.