Giving Compass' Take:

· Michael Bloomberg has pledged to donate $375 million to education initiatives in the U.S. over the next five years in order to help prepare students for college and future careers. The 74 analyzes Bloomberg's pledge and the effects it will have on economic development and youth success in the United States.

· How is Bloomberg's pledge for students also a pledge to better the U.S.? What will result from his donation?

· Read more about programs preparing students for careers.

Michael Bloomberg will donate $375 million to education initiatives in the United States over the next five years, he announced at a New York Timesevent Thursday. The former New York City mayor said he wants to “focus on what works,” especially when preparing students for college and careers.

The pledged money will support a range of projects, including the Bloomberg-backed American Talent Initiative and CollegePoint, as well as some career-training programs, and will be geared toward cities and states that are “taking innovative approaches to improving and reforming K-12 education,” a Bloomberg Philanthropies spokesperson said in an email to The 74.

Here are three things to know about the announcement:

  1. The focus is on higher education and career prep—Bloomberg said there is a “false choice” between making it possible for all students to receive four-year college degrees and preparing students for well-paying careers that don’t require going to a four-year college. Right now, he said, some schools are not preparing students for either.
  2. This builds on Bloomberg’s existing philanthropic priorities—Bloomberg has long made education a priority of his philanthropy, and this pledge will benefit at least two initiatives his foundation already supports, CollegePoint and the American Talent Initiative. Bloomberg sees education as a pathway out of poverty. One of the goals of Bloomberg Philanthropies is to “close the growing wage gap between high school and college graduates” by improving education through advocacy and policy change.
  3. Some organizations have already set specific goals—The American Talent Initiative has set a goal for 50,000 lower-income students to enroll at affiliated colleges by 2025. The goal of CollegePoint, the mentoring organization, is for more than half of high-achieving, lower-income students to enroll in top colleges by 2020.

Read the full article about Michael Bloomberg's pledge to help prepare students for college and careers by Laura Fay at The 74.