Fair and Just School Resources
In the United States public schools are funded through a mix of local, state and federal funding. For the most part, schools serving students of color and students from low-income communities have less funding per student than schools in wealthier neighborhoods. These resource disparities perpetuate opportunity gaps in schools and in our broader society. No child’s educational opportunities should be limited because of their zip code. The Schott Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that every student has access to fair and just school resources.
The Latest on Fair & Just School Resources
One of the many insightful picket signs from the successful 2012 Chicago teachers' strike read, "together we bargain: alone we beg." That important lesson doesn't apply only to teachers, but to everyone who wants to improve their public schools.
In that spirit, several cities have developed community and labor partnerships that are working on collective community bargaining platforms for local change that goes beyond teacher salary and school day hours. These alliances translate into community power.
Early education funding, community schools, changing zero tolerance policies, and even banking foreclosure reform are among the issues community and labor groups are uniting around and scoring big wins. Across the country, parents, students and educators are discovering the power they have when they build a common vision and work together to make it a reality.
We discussed effective collaborations and strategies used by teachers unions and education justice groups led by parents, students and community members to achieve substantive outcomes for students and communities in Chicago. We also explored the broader implications for community and labor partnerships to address education reform, as well as the racial and economic justice issues that impact a student’s opportunity to learn.
In collaboration with our grantee Southern Echo, the Schott Foundation has created an infographic sketching out some key opportunities in ESSA to move the cause of education justice further and to help ensure that schools and districts are held accountable to a much better-rounded and more holistic evaluation of their performance than before.
The overuse of suspensions in Massachusetts schools is harming educational opportunities for all students, but with the burden impacting black students and students with disabilities more than other groups, according to a study released by the Center for Civil Rights Remedies and supported by the Schott Foundation. The study is the first ever to quantify the school-level days of missed instruction due to discipline, reporting both the black/white gap and the impact on students with disabilities. The report advocates that the state adopt "days of lost instruction" as an accountability measure.
A new book, Global Education Reform: How Privatization and Public Investment Influence Education Outcomes, provides a powerful analysis of different ends of an ideological spectrum – from market-based experiments to strong state investments in public education. Written by education researchers, the authors compare the privatization and public investment approaches to education in three pairs of countries: Chile and Cuba, Sweden and Finland, and the U.S. and Canada. The book consolidates the best available evidence on the implementation issues and specific results of these different approaches.
New Orleans provides a model for examining the feasibility of a nearly 100% charter, market based system of schools. This is truly an education experiment on a grand scale, and because New Orleans’ system is unique, the nation is watching. How is it working?
A week after the 2016 election, activists, policymakers, philanthropic leaders and scholars came together at the Boston Public Library to reflect and strategize how to pursue educational & social justice after Trump's victory.
Schott is pleased to release our latest series of infographics, this time focusing on the barriers facing Black girls in our public schools. Only through using both a race and gender lens can we see — and fix — the unique systemic problems that Black girls must deal with on a daily basis.
Unfair discipline practices. Disinvestment from curriculum. Lack of supports for girls who face familial responsibilities. High rates of exposure to sexual harassment and violence. Lack of resources for counseling and addressing trauma.
These are barriers that should — and must — come down. And only through grassroots organizing can we win the change needed to ensure that all our children have an opportunity to learn and succeed in both classroom and community.
What will it take to ensure that all children have an opportunity to learn, regardless of their background or which school they attend? The work of the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado has long pointed out that the problems of inequity in public education aren’t just contained within our public schools, but also stem from larger structural issues in the community like unemployment, poverty, and disinvestment of public resources.
Last year, parents, students, teachers, and community members in Los Angeles achieved a huge victory for the city’s public schools: they successfully pushed the LA school board to adopt the “Equity Is Justice Resolution," which will guide the distribution of new state funding to prioritize the highest-needs students and schools.