Thirteen months after former publisher and diplomat Walter H. Annenberg, 86, announced plans to donate $500 million to improve education and curb violence in public schools across the country, the Chicago reform team will see its efforts rewarded. Monday, Annenberg will officially announce the largest single private gift ever made to Chicago public schools-$49.2 million over five years.
Annenberg's is a challenge grant: It must be matched two-to-one, with equal amounts of private donations and of public funds. If his grant is completely matched, then $147.6 million will be available to Chicago schools over the next five years.
It's more than a happy coincidence that the tenet also is the bedrock of Chicago school reform. Theodore Sizer, director of Annenberg's institute, said he and other Annenberg advisers have worked closely with key players in the 6-year-old Chicago reform movement. They incorporated some ideas from Chicago in the Annenberg Challenge program.