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School ties – Impact on funds, courses

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Technology leaders who gave a big chunk of the $34 million in startup funds for the Sage Hill School in Newport Beach, Calif., want a say in how and what students will learn, the Los Angeles Times reported Oct. 9.

In addition to boosting the nonprofit school by backing state-of-the-art technology, tech donors want a curriculum they feel will help students succeed.

Former AOL executive Stephen Johnson and Buy.com founder Scott Blum — each of whom contributed $1 million to Sage Hill  — have lobbied to add business courses to the school’s college prep courses. 

Technology donors have taken a special interest in education in recent years, wanting to contribute more than funds to schools, the Times said.

Donors want to create qualified future employees and ensure the right kind of education for their own children.

Currently, executives at Microsoft, AOL and other tech providers are backing other school projects in California and Washington.

Clint Wilkins, head of Sage School, says the new give-and-take is a productive way for the school to tap into tech’s energy and ideas, but he says that tech money will not dictate Sage Hill’s curriculum.

For full story, go to AOL.

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