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
School closures are both a symptom and a cause of perpetuated inequality, and they leave students of color and those in low-income families without access to the educational resources they deserve. Here is how the Cycle of School Closures works.
A majority of public school children in 17 states – including most of the South and several Western states – are low-income for the first time in four decades. This report tracks the demographic shifts in public education and the growing number of students eligible for for free and reduced-price lunch at school, a rough proxy for poverty levels.
The quality of school facilities can have a major impact on the education that our children receive and whether they succeed in school. Research, court decisions, and states have long recognized that disparities in access to basic school facilities can lead to differences in educational outcomes, especially for low-income students. This brief makes the case that state funding for school facilities in Arkansas should be increased to meet the needs of all districts. The official standards, that facilities need only be warm, safe, and dry, is not good enough.
"Community schools" are a new model for public education focused on building community partnerships to ensure all students have access to the types of wraparound academic, social and health supports they need to succeed in school. This short animated video shows how Oakland Unified School District is transforming its schools to be community hubs offering integrated student supports. Check it out!
A review of the first three years of the federal Race to the Top program finds that its key tenet of teacher and school accountability is "deeply flawed" because it fails to address the opportunity gap in access to educational resources that puts students of color and low-income students at a disadvantage.
The best way to build a strong state economy isn't to cut taxes and hope businesses invest in your state and create jobs. Instead, the best way to ensure both economic prosperity and job creation is to invest in education. A policy brief by Peter Fisher of the Economic Policy Institute and Noah Berger of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (an OTL ally) has a simple message for state-level policymakers concerned about their state's workers: "If you educate them, jobs will come."
Over the last year the A+ NYC coalition held countless workshops and visited every corner of the city in a big blue bus, gathering perspectives on how to create a world-class school system where every student can succeed. The result is the PS 2013 Education Roadmap for the Next Mayor — an unparalleled set of recommendations that sketch an inspiring vision of an education system that treasures the complexity of children and their communities; equips schools with the tools to prepare students for a range of destinies; and works interdependently to leverage the city’s vast resources in service of schools.
Education officials use a variety of justifications to defend the closures, citing everything from budget concerns to promises of better opportunities for students. But as this new infographic from the OTL Campaign illustrates, these justifications don’t hold up to scrutiny. Here's what the evidence from past and current school closures says.
This report card on New York State's progress in improving public education is far from stellar. The report card finds that the state is moving in the right direction only in expanding access to pre-K and creating community schools. Otherwise, New York's policymakers are failing to ensure equity for all students in areas like expanded learning time, providing challenging and engaging curriculum, school climate, and school funding. Providing these resources and opportunities are the standards by which every state and and policymaker should be held accountable.
Members of Chicago Students Organizing to Save Our Schools speak out against school closures and education budget cuts at a Board of Education meeting – and are kicked out for speaking truth to power.