The latest from the Schott Foundation and our allies.
In our democracy, the federal government has been the entity that the people looked to take steps  to ensure educational equity. President Trump is dangerously intent on reversing the role of the federal government on equity and public education. Last week, Trump threatened to withdraw federal funding from California public schools that use the 1619 Project curriculum. That educational program is based on Pulitzer Prize winner and Schott Foundation Fellow Nikole Hannah-Jones’ in-depth exploration of the legacy of Blacks in America since 1619, the year that the first African slaves were brought to our shores. Trump doesn’t dispute that historical fact—even he can’t dub it “fake news,” so he doubles down on the notion, embraced by too many, that slavery is now over, no legacy or current injustices exist, end of conversation. With his penchant for extremism, he even claims it’s un-American to teach our children this history.
As the 2020 population numbers will shape how political power and over 800 million dollars will be shared in the U.S. over the next ten years, an accurate Census count is of monumental importance, especially to communities of color. Schott Grantee partner Southern Echo understands this and has engaged its volunteers to ensure that their community is counted in the 2020 census. What does the Census have to do with public education? A lot. The Census determines where and how $14 billion in federal public education funds will be allocated. Through programs like Title I, the National School Lunch Program, Head Start, and special education grants, these are dollars that will decide whether a school stays open or closed, or if a district can hire school nurses and support staff.
A recent QCityMetro profile of Black philanthropists featured Schott President & CEO Dr. John H. Jackson. In the profile John describes the intersection of philanthropy, racial justice, public education, and grassroots movements — precisely where he and the Schott Foundation do our work.
Schott Foundation President & CEO Dr. John H. Jackson and Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools Executive Director Keron Blair talk about racial injustice, inequities in public education, and how COVID-19 has revealed the lovelessness of institutions toward Black children and their families.
Leading organizers in the educational justice movement discuss how the last ten years of parent and youth organizing helped lay the foundation for the emergence of mass protests and the campaign for police free schools and where the movement is going.
Communities are more than just the places we live and work, they are our homes. They are where we meet friends and partners, where we start families and raise children. They can also be places that cause joy and pain. That pain is often targeted, methodical and overwhelmingly impacts Black people. This pain doesn’t come from the city itself, but it actually is rooted in the lack of love that grows out of the policies and practices created by often misguided elected leaders.  This month, the Schott Foundation for Public Education released the second phase of its Loving Cities Index, which provides a comprehensive look at the systemic racism prevalent across education, health, and economic opportunity in ten of America’s largest cities. 
Today, August 3, is the National Day of Resistance by the Demand Safe Schools Coalition. This coalition, a nationwide partnership between community advocates and educators, has "come together to unite students, educators, parents and community to advance a racial justice agenda in public education, in particular by organizing for police-free schools. We’re working to galvanize a strong and growing student/educator/parent/community voice; a voice that says the government must go much further to provide the resources to ensure a safe and equitable school reopening and must provide for our communities and working families through transformational Common Good demands."
Schott President Dr. John H. Jackson was a guest on The Damage Report to discuss the launch of the second installment of Schott’s Loving Cities Index. As John explained, "We want to provide the public sector and philanthropy a new way to invest and assess whether or not cities are doing what's necessary to provide the ecosystem where all students can learn and all families can thrive.”
George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and now Rayshard Brooks — all Black people whose lives and purposes were snuffed out by White Supremacy. These four slain Americans were fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters, and one-time students of our nation’s public education system. If we acknowledge the truth about the systemic racism in our country, we must also acknowledge the impact that racism has on our children and their classrooms. For us, #BlackLivesMatter is more than just a hashtag or social media post. #BlackLivesMatter is a policy doctrine that should govern how we think about safety, health care, the economy and certainly our nation’s public schools.  For Black lives to matter, we must reconstitute our nation’s classrooms and ensure that they are places that push back against the epidemic of racism and anti-Blackness. Its symptoms include under-resourced school buildings, oversized classrooms, over-policing, less access to necessary protections, lack of opportunity, and disinvestment.  Together, we — parents, students, community, educators and our local unions — believe we can cure anti-Blackness in our children’s classrooms  Here are the 9 things we can do today to combat anti-Blackness and racism for the sake of our babies and their neighborhood public schools: 
Local public schools and their educators have produced America’s most brilliant artists, scientists, doctors, musicians, lawyers, presidents, and more — people from all walks of life, contributing to society in countless ways. Given the incredible challenges and obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, we're especially proud of the Class of 2020 graduates and the dedicated educators and support staff who helped millions of students successfully finish out the school year.