National Opportunity to Learn Network

Schott’s Opportunity to Learn Network (OTL) unites a nationwide coalition of Schott grantees and allied organizations working to secure a high quality public education for all students.

By creating a space to highlight and celebrate grassroots organizing, share success stories and provide resources, OTL strives to create real and substantial change in our public education system. OTL advocates for supports­-based education reform, one that provides all students with access to crucial resources and opportunities such as early education, wraparound supports, fair school discipline, well­-supported teachers, and equitable school funding. To support our network of advocates and organizers, OTL provides regular updates on current grantee campaigns, publishes policy guides, infographics and other resources, and hosts summits and other network building events, all of which can be found below.

The Latest from the OTL Network

The latest from the Schott Foundation and our allies.
Dec06
The heightened urgency to protect our democracy from outside interference in the 2020 election is getting a lot of media and political attention these days, but there’s a far more urgent need that is vital for philanthropy to foster and finance: ensuring that our democracy evolves toward greater justice. We must not confuse democracy with creating equity or with creating a more just American society. It takes more than elections to make a sound democracy. We have lived in a democracy for more than 200 years, but never has our democracy been equitable or just for all people.
Nov27
First conceptualized by the 92nd Street Y and implemented as a day of global charity in 2012, #GivingTuesday has continued its rise in popularity, carving a place alongside Black Friday and Cyber Monday as notable days of the holiday season. And its premise and intent are noble: take a moment during the whirlwind of holiday spending and direct some of those funds toward social causes, not just shopping. The statistics sound equally impressive, with GivingTuesday.org reporting more than $400 million raised by the holiday in 2018 alone, and a total of $1 billion over the movement’s lifespan.  Is there a problem with this? Not exactly. But let’s take a minute to consider where our donation dollars are going. Several years ago, the Chronicle of Philanthropy found that out of the 1.5 million charitable organizations in the United States the top 400 charities — 0.027% — received more than a quarter of all donations. Gifts of all sizes, from small individual contributions to large corporate donations, tend to gravitate toward a relative few organizations at the top.
Nov27
Yesterday the landmark Student Opportunity Act was signed into law in Massachusetts, guaranteeing an additional $1.5 billion in funding for k-12 public schools across the Commonwealth:  Four years after a state commission determined the existing foundation budget formula underestimates the cost of education by $1 billion annually and more than a year after a previous bill to correct inequalities collapsed, the focus now shifts to implementing the funding law and holding districts accountable for improvement plans. The new money is intended to reduce disparities between districts across the state and to put communities with larger cost drivers — special education, employee health care, and high numbers of low-income students and English language learners — on a more even footing with their peers.
Nov14
It’s that time of the year again... the Schott Foundation’s second annual list of 10 Education Justice Superstars to follow on Twitter! Spice up your feed with knowledge and inspiration from these influential and energized advocates. They’re leading the way, pushing racial and gender equity, fair funding, community schools, grassroots organizing and other crucial issues to the fore. Be sure to give them a follow!
Oct31
Yesterday we convened organizers from across the country to highlight the popular struggles in Puerto Rico against austerity, privatization, and the larger neocolonial project the island has been subjected to. Members of Schott grantee partner Journey for Justice Alliance have visited the island to support and learn from the struggles there, including co-organizing a conference this past summer.
Oct22
The Schott team is at the annual Grantmakers for Education national conference this week in New Orleans — we hope to see you there. We're happy to host a learning session and a funder reception on Wednesday, October 23, and Schott Vice President Edgar Villanueva will close out GFE in a plenary session on Thursday morning. Join us!
Oct17
More than 30,000 educators and support staff, Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU members, are on strike in Chicago: The strike comes on the heels of other teacher strikes in Oakland, Los Angeles, Colorado and Virginia earlier this year, and is CTU's first since its eight-day strike in 2012, when teachers sought higher wages, fair teacher assessment and job security, among other issues. Community support is once again strong in the city today as the union seeks higher pay and benefits, fully staffed schools and smaller class sizes.
Oct17
Endorsed by more than a hundred youth organizations and their allies, including the Schott Foundation, "A Youth Mandate for Presidential Candidates: Permanently Dismantle The School-to-Prison-and-Deportation Pipeline" was released today: the boldest intervention yet in the education justice space in the 2020 political discussion.
Oct01
As Donald Trump continues to fuel white nationalism with his recent tirade against four members of Congress who are all women of color, the essence of what it means to be American is in a seismic shift. The values of the constitution, the leadership elected to uphold it, and the American people are in direct conflict and the threat to already vulnerable communities like mine is real. The question that keeps getting louder in my ears is: Am I safe?
Sep19
Schott Vice President of Programs and Advocacy Edgar Villanueva is a board member of Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP), and wrote the foreword below for the pathbreaking new report "Investing in Native Communities," produced by NAP and Candid. Read the report and explore the new website. It’s been said that “whoever holds the data tells the story.” Our story is a difficult one, due to the history of colonization and genocide in the United States and around the world. Because of this, Indigenous peoples have historically not been authors of our own narratives. But thanks to the work of Native Americans in Philanthropy, other Native-led organizations, and Indigenous leaders inside philanthropic institutions, many donors are becoming aware of this history and the resulting trauma that continues to plague our communities.

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