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Education

Communities In Schools receives $133.5M donation; $7M headed to San Antonio

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Communities in Schools of San Antonio
A Communities In Schools staff member spends time with San Antonio ISD students at Schenck Elementary.

Communities In Schools of San Antonio has received a $7 million donation from Mackenzie Scott, the philanthropist who has already donated hundreds of millions of dollars to education and art institutions in San Antonio and across the country.

CIS San Antonio CEO Jessica Weaver said the gift will be an “incredible lift to the work” the nonprofit does in local schools to support students’ non-academic needs by building relationships and connecting students to resources.

“This donation could not come at a better time. After the last challenging couple of years; the increased needs that we have seen, (this) allows us to really look and reflect on how we can continue to support those greater needs that we’ve been asked to support,” Weaver said.

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Education News Desk, including H-E-B Helping Here, Betty Stieren Kelso Foundation and Holly and Alston Beinhorn.

The $7 million donation is part of a more than $130 million donation to the national Communities In Schools network. CIS San Antonio is one of 40 local chapters to receive a direct donation, with the remaining funding going to the national network.

CIS national president — and former San Antonio City Councilman — Rey Saldaña said in a statement the gift will help his organization move towards its goal of operating in every high poverty school in the country.

“This unrestricted gift allows us to combat the inequities in public education and re-imagine the way schools operate and show up for all students,” Saldaña said.

On CBS Mornings, Saldaña said the $133.5 million gift is more than he ever expected.

“The upper limits of my imagination were (that) we would be lucky if we get a $10 million gift,” Saldaña said, adding that he didn’t know why Scott’s team selected Communities in Schools other than that they did a lot of research first. “We passed a test we didn’t know we were taking.”

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