The latest from the Schott Foundation and our allies.
As a member of the Class of 2020 you are facing extraordinary challenges of school closings, trying to complete courses via distance learning, without in-person support from teachers and the connection to friends—and possibly without the graduation ceremony you and your family have been looking forward to for years. You’re tackling these challenges—as you have overcome other hurdles throughout your school years—and we celebrate your determination, your resilience.  Needed now more than ever. The Proud #PublicSchoolGrad scholarship is way to celebrate you – and help you take the next step of continuing your education.
The undersigned organizations representing school administrators, teachers, parents and education and civil rights advocates are committed to equitable educational opportunities for our nation’s students.  Understandably, as the COVID-19 pandemic extended to the United States, federal, state, tribal, and local governments have closed school buildings to prevent the spread of the novel virus. School closures have impacted 55 million K-12 students nationwide.  Although school buildings are closed, education and support services have continued, as “it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education.”  Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 493 (1954). 
Dr. Leah Austin, whose dynamic career has included teaching, grantmaking, organizing, research and evaluation, has joined the Schott Foundation for Public Education as Director of the National Opportunity to Learn Network. In her leadership role she will work with Schott grantees and partners to support effective campaigns focused on building systems to provide all students an opportunity to learn—through philanthropic support and other strategic capacity building resources.
The Schott Foundation’s partners are providing critically-needed aid in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, just as they’ve done during previous crises. At the same time they are fighting to ensure those most impacted by school closures, job and housing insecurity, and hunger are included in shaping policies and allocating resources, especially in historically marginalized Black and brown communities. 
The 2020 Census is underway, with the first wave of forms being mailed across the country on April 1, and data collection continuing through the Fall. The COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted all of our lives could make the Census more difficult—so it’s critical that communities mobilize to make sure all their neighbors are counted.
The Funders Collaborative on Youth Organizing (FCYO) is holding two digital organizing trainings coming up this week and next to give advocates the tools they need to continue serving the people and fighting for change:
Like us, you are likely asking how you can most effectively support life-saving work in our nation’s most vulnerable communities — if so, please read on. Organizations and communities supported by the Schott Foundation come from generations of people grounded in community, organized and resilient in the face of structural violence and institutionalized racism. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the inequities and challenges they must confront now are even greater. We must stand in solidarity to sustain and strengthen this vital network of advocates and the families and students whom they support, to both survive in the months ahead and sow the seeds of a better world in the future.
The dedicated educators in St. Paul, MN who went on strike Tuesday know full well that it takes wraparound supports for the city’s neediest children to have a fair and substantive opportunity to learn. They’ve gone on strike after ten months of failed contract negotiations because their students are suffering—and their #1 demand is more mental health supports. We see their fierce determination as an act of love.
Remarks by Jitu Brown were one of the highlights of the recent Public Education Forum 2020, which featured the top Democratic presidential candidates in this year’s race. Brown, National Director of the Journey for Justice Alliance (J4J), delivered a poignant message about the state of public education, and the continued threat of public school privatization. He underlined the fact that the United States has failed to commit to fulfilling its constitutional obligation to all students by fully funding schools, especially the schools that educate students of color and low income students.
We’re excited to announce the publication of a new book by Schott Board Chair Jackie Jenkins-Scott, The 7 Secrets of Responsive Leadership. Schott has benefited tremendously from Jackie’s strategic savvy, insights, and dynamic leadership. This book will be an asset for other organizations and leaders. 


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