Each year, nationwide, about $500 billion is spent on K-12 education, and almost all of it comes from taxpayers. By that measure, this gift is a fraction of 1 percent of total expenditures. But in terms of existing philanthropy, yes, $2 billion actually would be a huge deal. No one has exact figures, but the best estimates are that K-12 educational philanthropy in the United States totals nearly $4 billion a year. So if our billionaire decides to spend the entire $2 billion just in fiscal ’08, that would be a big portion of the national total.
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