MacKenzie Scott donates $20 million to JCPS


Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has donated $12.8 billion in the past two years. Photo courtesy of the New York Times

Kaelin Gaydos

MacKenzie Scott made a donation of $20 million to JCPS at the end of October as part of her philanthropy project. 

Scott’s goal is to give away her “disproportionate amount of money” throughout the remainder of her lifetime and to help communities and organizations in need.

Scott’s donation to JCPS was the largest the district has ever received and is a huge deal to many families, especially those with children attending higher-poverty schools. Racial equity and social justice are Scott’s priorities in her philanthropy project. District administrators believe the money will help create equity amongst the schools in the district.

Since divorcing her ex-husband Jeff Bezos, MacKenzie Scott has donated billions of dollars to organizations across the country. In the past two years, Scott has donated $12.8 billion, a considerably larger amount than her ex-husband, who has only donated 1% of his wealth to charity. Some of the bigger organizations include Habitat for Humanity, Planned Parenthood, and Girl Scouts of America.

MacKenzie Scott and Jeff Bezos were married for 25 years before getting divorced in 2019, giving Scott a four percent stake in Amazon. She has donated over $4 billion of this money to nearly 400 organizations since their divorce and plans on giving away more. Bezos, on the other hand, uses large amounts of his wealth to fly around Earth in a spaceship. He has only spent 1.7% of his wealth on philanthropy and donating to charity. 

Schools in JCPS are financially divided; the East End schools have mostly students from wealthier backgrounds and receive more funding compared to schools in the West End. The money can be used to ensure students attending higher-poverty schools that receive less funding from booster clubs and parent organizations get the same opportunities as students coming from wealthier families. Specifically, the donation will help pay for things like uniforms, new technology, athletic fields and college visits. 

“We are enormously happy and grateful that JCPS is the latest entity to be on the receiving end of MacKenzie Scott’s incredible generosity,” Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said.

District administrators have said that this large sum of money will be able to provide students with new opportunities for at least the next decade. Families and teachers have hope that the donation can even out and fix inequities that have plagued JCPS for decades.