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Mayor Lee, San Francisco Unified School District And Foundation Launch Public-Private Middle School Leadership Initiative

Press Release

San Francisco’s Foundation Donates $2.7 million, the Largest Single One Year Business Investment in SFUSD History, Mayor Urges More Private Sector Investment.

San Francisco, CA – Mayor Edwin M. Lee joined San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Superintendent Richard Carranza and Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO of and Chartiman of the Board of Directors for the Foundation, today to launch the Mayor’s Middle School Leadership Initiative, a first of its kind public-private partnership aimed at dramatically improving STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education in SFUSD and to announce Foundation’s donation to SFUSD, the largest single one year business investment in SFUSD history.

“Making sure San Francisco’s youth receive a quality education and are ready for college and ready for the jobs of the 21st Century are among my highest priorities,” said Mayor Lee. “That’s why I’m proud to partner with the San Francisco Unified School District, Foundation and other San Francisco technology companies to launch this initiative that will help SFUSD students focus on STEM learning, using the latest technology in the classroom and are prepared to compete for and win the jobs of the 21st Century economy and become our City’s next innovators of the future.”

In partnership with the Mayor’s Office, SFUSD and the Foundation, this initiative grew out of a shared goal to provide San Francisco comprehensive middle schools and principal leaders with the strategies, resources and support they need to foster and maintain high quality public schools that integrate the most innovative practices for teaching and learning.

The first phase of this project is the introduction of 750 tablets equipped with applications and digital content, into select middle school math and science classrooms.  In conjunction with exceptional and tailored professional development for teachers, the objective of the project is to build teacher and school capacity to maximize the value of these technologies in order to further contribute to student mastery of 21st century content and to enhance STEM education in the curriculum.  When effectively implemented, STEM means removing the traditional barriers between science, technology, engineering and math and teaching the subject matters together. The U.S. Department of Commerce recently reported that, over the past decade, the number of new jobs involving STEM expertise has grown at a rate triple that of jobs that do not.

“The importance of an integrated STEM curriculum cannot be underestimated as we prepare students for an increasingly technological future,” said Superintendent Richard A. Carranza. “In partnership with the Mayor and leading businesses, I am confident that we are evolving our schools so that students will graduate increasingly prepared to be innovators and leaders. This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a long term partnership to benefit San Francisco’s children.” Foundation’s donation of volunteers, technology and financial resources, a philanthropic approach called the 1/1/1 model, is supporting The Mayor’s Middle School Leadership Initiative at the City’s 12 comprehensive middle schools.

"San Francisco’s future depends on providing our children a world class education that will prepare them for the careers of tomorrow,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO,  “By combining our time, technology and financial resources, the Foundation is doubling down on our investment in the city’s youth – our next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs."

To support the district’s vision for building innovators for the future, Foundation has donated $2.7 million, $1.5 million of which is going to technology and technology infrastructure at SFUSD’s 12 comprehensive middle schools. The Initiative also established a $100,000 Principal’s Innovation Fund for each middle school principal to invest in their school’s ability to innovate and increase access to STEM opportunities.  

In addition to the financial gift, the Foundation is committing to thousands of hours of employee volunteerism to support the Mayor’s Initiative.  This summer, employees donated more than 1,250 volunteer hours at San Francisco middle schools, including technology and leadership training, mentoring, and chaperoning a field trip for the entire 6th grade to the new Exploratorium.  Middle school principals, SFUSD administrative staff, the Mayor’s office and volunteers are collaborating on this effort via Salesforce Chatter, a collaboration platform. SFUSD is also working with local employees to develop an app on the Salesforce Platform that easily tracks and measures the success of the initiative over time.  

Mayor Lee and Marc Benioff encouraged other tech companies to work with the City’s public schools to help build the workforce for tomorrow. Autodesk and Zynga committed to partner with the school district at the launch at Martin Luther King Middle School.

About the Foundation
The Foundation is a global leader in corporate philanthropy. The unique 1/1/1 model harnesses the power of’s employee time, the Salesforce products and cash grants to increase the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions. Since the Foundation's inception in 1999, employees have committed more than 500,000 hours of their time to volunteer and pro bono projects, more than 20,000 organizations in 110 countries are using donated and discounted Salesforce licenses and more than $50 million in grants have been awarded. For more information on the Foundation, please visit


Page updated on 10/07/13