Bill Gates is investing some serious amount to public education.

At the Council of the Great City Schools conference in Cleveland Thursday, Gates announced a massive $1.7 billion investment from his foundation.

During his address, he vowed to the public to improve education for low-income students and students of colour.

Over the upcoming five years, Gates said the in a big part of investment would mostly go toward developing and introducing new curricula and building  “networks of schools.” He believes that data-driven systems will help students, teachers, and districts learn and decide what’s working and what’s not. He also cited successful programs already implemented at schools that assisted students to explore college options and English language students catch up to their companions.

He further said he feels that less attention is given to classroom lesson plans and curricula and both seem to be underfunded. He wants everyone to be on a standard level.

Another portion of the investment will be for special-needs students and charter school programming — approximately 15%.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has already invested $3.4 billion in public education, according to the Washington Post

He spoke about investing in public education for over a period of 17 years. “U.S. education is without a doubt one of the most challenging areas for our foundation,” he said. “It takes a long-term commitment … looking at the data, applying that to ourselves, as well.”

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