Matt Barnum of Chalkbeat checked to see what the billionaire philanthropists are doing in response to the coronavirus. The answer: Not much.

When asked to underwrite charter schools, Teach for America, and wacky teacher-evaluation systems, they shell out hundreds of millions of dollars. When the nation’s schools are closed by a pandemic, and it’s clear that millions of children need food security, computers, and internet access, the money slows to a dribble. When the nation’s schools face massive budget cuts because of declining revenues, and these cuts will increase class sizes, cause layoffs, lead to drastic cuts in the arts and athletics, Will they wake up and pitch in to help?

He writes:

Here’s how four of the largest education foundations and grantmakers are responding:

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation says its “commitment to and overall objective of our education strategies are not changing.” But it is prioritizing supporting teaching by expanding “access to interactive, student-facing digital content and high-quality print materials” and “supporting data collection efforts to understand the impact of COVID-19 on educators and families.”

The City Fund, which is funded primarily by John Arnold and Reed Hastings, said it has committed new $100,000 grants to in its 14 active cities, and also allowed those organizations to repurpose $100,000 of existing grants to respond to the coronavirus. That will total nearly $3 million in emergency support. In Oakland, for instance, the Oakland Reach has used this to provide small cash payments of families in need. In D.C., money has gone to a fund to make Wi-Fi and laptops available to students. In St. Louis, a nonprofit has created a “remote learning innovation fund.”

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has awarded over $1.6 million to education groups, including money to those aiming to expand broadband access in the San Francisco Bay Area, to disseminate resources to parents, and to provide guidance to school districts moving instruction online.

The Walton Family Foundation did not offer details. But along with the Kauffman Foundation, it has contributed to a $2 million education relief fund in Kansas City designed to support teachers, families, and schools with costs and challenges associated with COVID-19.

So far, most of the private grants in response to the virus amount to a few million dollars at most. By comparison, the federal stimulus for K-12 schools totaled $13.5 billion — and many worry it won’t be anywhere near enough, considering that high-poverty school districts are facing a daunting combination of greater needs and less money.

When billionaires pony up only a few million in the face of a national catastrophe, that’s not a contribution. That’s a tip. That’s surely not “putting children first.”