Taylor Swift has proven yet again that she is one of the music industry's most charitable pop stars. Shortly after releasing her fifth album, "1989," Swift announced Wednesday on ABC's "The View" that she will donate the proceeds from her hit single, "Welcome to New York," to New York public schools.
Swift, 24, was recently named "Global Welcome Ambassador" for New York City tourism after just six months of living in a $19.9 million duplex penthouse in Manhattan. While the song is not comparable to New York natives' Jay-Z and Alicia Key's "Empire State of Mind," and was dubbed the "Gentrification Anthem NYC Didn't Need" by Gawker, New York City public schools could benefit from her donation.
“We’re deeply appreciative of this kind gesture to donate her proceeds of the single ‘Welcome to New York’ to benefit NYC public schools, and look forward to working together to make our schools great,” New York City Department of Education press secretary Devora Kaye said.
In addition to her contribution to New York schools, Taylor Swift has also said she is a proud feminist, and has supported a range of causes from children's literacy to natural disasters to LGBT rights.
According to a May 2014 Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report, New York was one of 32 states found providing less funding per student for the 2013-2014 school year than they did before the recession.
On top of its financial shortcomings, the New York City public school system is also considered to be among the most segregated in the country. As a result, on Oct. 22, members of the city council introduced a series of bills to address the growing inequality of the school district.
“I think there are steps we can take in the direction of diversity and confronting segregation that builds on the school system we have, and don’t rely on turning the whole thing upside down,” said Brooklyn councilman Brad Lander, one of three members to propose the bills, in comments to The New York Times.
Confronted with a growing disparities between public and charter schools, perpetual debt problems and academic underperformance, many American public school districts are in desperate need of support and funds. A number of wealthy donors have made high-profile contributions, such as Mark Zuckerburg and Dr. Priscilla Chan, who have lavished $100 million on New Jersey public schools and recently gifted another $120 million to improve schools in San Francisco. Experts warn, however, that individual donations are not a silver bullet -- philanthropy alone cannot reverse decades of social and economic inequality.