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

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Wednesday May 22, 2019 –

Do your schools provide enough resources to students in your community? Do you ever wonder why some schools have more resources than others? How does funding in your school district work?

According to a 2015 bipartisan Foundation Budget Review Commission Report, Massachusetts schools are underfunded by $1 billion and $2 billion! So what is being done to solve this education crisis?

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Tuesday May 7, 2019 –

Black and Brown students are demanding that their school districts end the school-to-prison pipeline and invest in solutions that create a true sense of safety, dignity and opportunity for learning. They are advocating for schools that are sufficiently resourced, affirming of their identities, provide culturally responsive social and emotional learning, and offer mental health supports to students who need them. Students are also calling on school officials to decriminalize their learning environments from racially unjust policies and practices — including the removal of police from our schools.

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Tuesday March 26, 2019 –

What if we used wealth to heal, not harm? What if money was spent trying out concepts that challenge or shatter the structures and systems that have created inequity and disparity?

Please join us for a lively conversation about how foundations can lead with racial equity and better serve the needs of communities of color. Speakers include Chicago-based funders Megan Bang (Spencer Foundation) Bruce Boyd (Arabella Advisors), and Angelique Power (Field Foundation).

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Tuesday December 11, 2018 –

The new book Lift Us Up, Don't Push Us Out! features voices from the frontlines of a growing movement for educational justice across the United States. Organizers and activists recount their journeys to movement building, lift up victories and successes, and offer practical organizing strategies and community-based alternatives to traditional education reform and privatization schemes.

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Tuesday October 30, 2018 –

The last few decades of disinvestment and privatization have devastated public schools across the country, especially those in poor and distressed neighborhoods and communities of color. But we shouldn’t simply try to roll back the clock: long before the present crisis many schools were already failing the children who needed an opportunity to learn the most.

Out of that failure a growing movement of parents, youth, educators and community advocates are charting a better path forward: community schools. The community schools model holds at its core both research-proven methods and hard-won local insight from community members about what is most needed locally, which is what makes it a powerful evidence-based equity strategy!

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Friday October 5, 2018 –

Schott Foundation President & CEO Dr. John H. Jackson talks about the importance of love and happiness as we work give students the opportunities they need.

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Tuesday September 18, 2018 –

For over two decades the Schott Foundation has been a bridge, connecting philanthropy with community to resource broad based community-led movements for education equity. Part of building and reinforcing that bridge includes challenging structural racism in philanthropy and uplifting solutions rooted in equity through critical and thoughtful dialogue and trust in the power of community voices and community organizing for sustained change. We explored the unique journeys of three white philanthropic leaders striving toward race, gender and economic equity. Participants talked about when they first got “woke,” what they consider their role in philanthropy to be, how they have dealt with mistakes and criticism along the way, where they go for resources and support in their journey, how they hold themselves accountable to communities of color, and much more!

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Tuesday July 24, 2018 –
In this episode of the Laura Flanders Show, Laura speaks to Schott Foundation Vice President for Programs and Advocacy Edgar Villanueva about being one of the very few indigenous people working in philanthropy, and asks what he thinks Native American traditions have to teach philanthropy.
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Thursday June 28, 2018 –

The public school is the cornerstone of community empowerment and advancement in American society. However, there are some who advocate for handing these public institutions and dollars over to private interests — despite overwhelming data showing such strategies simply don't live up to their promises and run counter to core educational values of equity and opportunity.

In the midst of a continuous push for privatization from Washington, DC and many state capitals, it's more important than ever to ask, "When it comes to supporting public schools, does my state make the grade?"

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Thursday May 24, 2018 –

Schott partnered with Youth On Board for our latest webinar:

In order to win in the current political climate, our social movements need to be more effective, more resilient, and more rooted in collective healing than ever before. Youth on Board’s ListeningWorks project is harnessing the power of radical listening to strengthen social movements, build bridges between divided communities and create a shared vision of liberation. Using our signature Action & Support model—refined over twenty five years and based on radical listening, restorative justice and social emotional learning—we are building a national cohort of movement builders, civic leaders and community organizers dedicated to transforming healing and support systems for themselves and deepening engagement with their communities using a relational and love-centered approach. We invite you to learn about our model and join our efforts to heal movements and communities across the country.