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.
In this new age of political uncertainty and social unrest, leaders of color will be key to navigating philanthropy's future. The Schott Foundation for Public Education was proud to present a two-part webinar series highlighting 21st Century Inclusive Leadership in Philanthropy.
Today, September 25th, marks 60 years since the integration of Little Rock's Central High School — the day the Little Rock Nine became the first Black students to attend it. That day in 1957 was the culmination of years of legal and civil rights battles but also presaged the hard work and struggles to come, both inside and outside the school gates.
Last week saw the Boston premiere of the new documentary film Backpack Full of Cash. The event was sponsored by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Citizens for Public Schools, and the Schott Foundation. The film's narrator, Matt Damon, joined a discussion panel afterward to elaborate on the issues raised in the documentary.
How can we ensure healthy school climates for LGBTQ youth, particularly youth of color in schools, in the present political environment? This was the animating question behind a wide-ranging funders briefing and strategy session held by the Schott Foundation for Public Education in partnership with Funders for LGBTQ Issues and Communities for Just Schools Fund in New York City on July 25th.
Like many professionals working in philanthropy, I was oriented to do work in the social sector and stumbled into a job at a foundation. When I started as a program officer at the age of 28, I wasn’t sure if I would make a career out of out of philanthropy. At that time there was a debate about whether or not philanthropy was even a viable career path.  Some believed it was a golden parachute for the successful retiree departing from their CEO jobs in corporate America, or from being the chancellor of some prestigious university. It was a strange place to be in 2005 – thankfully, things have changed and there are many more opportunities to explore careers in philanthropy today.
What happened in Charlottesville is a national disgrace, but also a symptom of a chronic disease our country has suffered far too long. We are compelled by our mission and values to pause and publicly condemn what happened, remind our persuadable but inactive friends of the existence and burgeoning numbers of domestic extremist groups, do our part to ease the pain those groups cause today, and halt their potential for damage in the future.
Due to historical trauma, chronically underfunded programs, and broken promises on the part of the U.S. government, children and youth from Native American communities experience many educational, health, and economic disparities compared with their peers. To raise awareness and challenge the philanthropic community to better resource movements to support healthy living and learning for Native children and youth, the Schott Foundation and Nike’s N7 Fund, in partnership with Native Americans in Philanthropy, convened a group of Native education, health care, and human services experts along with several foundations in Washington, DC, in late June.
In June the Schott Foundation hosted a special extended-length webinar diving deep into implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. While discussing the minutiae of education policy is rarely an exciting activity, the panelists on our webinar showed how important it is that advocates and community members know how ESSA works: the future of our children’s education depends on it.
A year later, philanthropic and community leaders gathered in Orlando to reflect on the Pulse nightclub tragedy that took 49 lives. Our Rafael Torres participated in the Orlando Strong Funders Symposium and came away with valuable lessons about the power of community standing together in the face of hate. But this convening was more than a professional experience for Rafael. It was deeply personal.
Our grantee partner, Youth BREAKOUT! and the Congress of Day Laborers began working together more than six years ago after realizing that their struggles for LGBTQ liberation, the human right to move freely, and the fight against criminalization are inherently and inextricably linked. Together, they have recently released VICE to ICE, a compendium of resources for organizing with people whose lives are at the intersection of LGBTQ identity and undocumented status.