Fair and Just School Resources

They're walking 150 miles to save their public schools. Here's how you can help

Why are advocates walking from New York City to Albany?

In 2006, New York State’s highest court ruled on the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) school funding lawsuit. The CFE lawsuit was brought by parents against the State of New York claiming that children were not being provided an opportunity to receive an adequate education.

The Schott Foundation was among the first to fund the Campaign for Fiscal Equity in the mid-1990s which sparked a movement — and a victory. In 2006 the Court of Appeals ruled in CFE’s favor and found that New York State had violated students' constitutional right to a “sound and basic education” by depriving schools of needed funding. The Court ordered the NY Legislature to distribute $5.5 billion in basic operating aid (also known as Foundation Aid) to schools statewide over a four-year period, from 2007 to 2011.

Yet — ten years later — New York still owes its children $3.9 billion in Foundation Aid, most of which is owed to districts with high percentages of students of color. The state has only allocated $2.3 billion in Foundation Aid to schools thus far due to funding freezes during the fiscal crisis and further cuts to school aid.

CFE advocates need your support!
Education advocates are walking from NYC to Albany and need your help!
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Community Schools — and the organizing it will take to build them

Netroots Nation [link] is 10 years old, and over the past decade has become a preeminent gathering point for people at the intersections of progressive politics, social change, and technology. As such, it’s been interesting to watch various aspects of the conference shift — from keynote speakers, to panel topics, to vendors — as the larger progressive movement has shifted.

Nowhere is that more stark than education. Writers like Jeff Bryant point out how for many years, education wasn’t even on the radar of many progressive activists and organizations — and when it was, they would usually gravitate to the well-funded outreach of corporate reform outfits like Students First and Stand for Children.

Netroots Nation is 10 years old, and over the past decade has become a preeminent gathering point for people at the intersections of progressive politics, social change, and technology. As such, it’s been interesting to watch various aspects of the conference shift — from keynote speakers, to panel topics, to vendors — as the larger progressive movement has shifted.

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Webinar: Strategies for Lifting All Children Up

What will it take to ensure that all children have an opportunity to learn, regardless of their background or which school they attend? This is the question we discussed during our latest webinar, “Strategies for Lifting All Children Up," part of Schott Foundation’s Grassroots Education Series on July 28.

During the webinar, Executive Director Kevin Welner of the National Education Policy Center and Executive Director Taryn Ishida of Californians for Justice discussed the importance of systemic reforms, not just school-centric reforms, when working to close the opportunity gap — and both are urgently needed.

What will it take to ensure that all children have an opportunity to learn, regardless of their background or which school they attend? This is the question we discussed during our latest webinar, “Strategies for Lifting All Children Up," part of Schott Foundation’s Grassroots Education Series on July 28.

Parent Power: Community Organizing as a Parent Engagement Strategy

Edgar Villanueva, Vice President of Programs & Advocacy

Parent engagement can take on many forms within schools. Helping a child with homework, attending after school activities, cooking for a bake sale, and volunteering in the school’s office all fall under our general understanding of typical expectations for parent involvement in schools.Parent engagement, however, is often not defined by parents, which sometimes leads to negative narratives about a “lack of engagement” of parents of color or low-income parents. Parents and communities are critical to catalyzing and sustaining improvement in schools, but one of the biggest challenges can be finding ways to engage and support the powerful involvement of parents.

Parent engagement can take on many forms within schools. Helping a child with homework, attending after school activities, cooking for a bake sale, and volunteering in the school’s office all fall under our general understanding of typical expectations for parent involvement in schools.Parent engagement, however, is often not defined by parents, which sometimes leads to negative narratives about a “lack of engagement” of parents of color or low-income parents.

New Infographics: Shining a Spotlight on Black Girls

Schott is pleased to release our latest series of infographics, this time focusing on the barriers facing Black girls in our public schools. Only through using both a race and gender lens can we see — and fix — the unique systemic problems that Black girls must deal with on a daily basis.

Schott is pleased to release our latest series of infographics, this time focusing on the barriers facing Black girls in our public schools. Only through using both a race and gender lens can we see — and fix — the unique systemic problems that Black girls must deal with on a daily basis.

Unfair discipline practices. Disinvestment from curriculum. Lack of supports for girls who face familial responsibilities. High rates of exposure to sexual harassment and violence. Lack of resources for counseling and addressing trauma.

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Shining a Spotlight on Black Girls

Publication Date: 
Tue, 2016-05-17
Type: 
graphs-visuals

Schott is pleased to release our latest series of infographics, this time focusing on the barriers facing Black girls in our public schools. Only through using both a race and gender lens can we see — and fix — the unique systemic problems that Black girls must deal with on a daily basis.

Unfair discipline practices. Disinvestment from curriculum. Lack of supports for girls who face familial responsibilities. High rates of exposure to sexual harassment and violence. Lack of resources for counseling and addressing trauma.

These are barriers that should — and must — come down. And only through grassroots organizing can we win the change needed to ensure that all our children have an opportunity to learn and succeed in both classroom and community.

Schott is pleased to release our latest series of infographics, this time focusing on the barriers facing Black girls in our public schools. Only through using both a race and gender lens can we see — and fix — the unique systemic problems that Black girls must deal with on a daily basis.

Unfair discipline practices. Disinvestment from curriculum. Lack of supports for girls who face familial responsibilities. High rates of exposure to sexual harassment and violence. Lack of resources for counseling and addressing trauma.

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Communities Take Action to #ReclaimOurSchools Across the Country on May 4

Earlier this week parents, students, and educators gathered outside their schools in upwards of 80 cities, rallying in support of a more equitable, just, and well-funded public education system.

Earlier this week parents, students, and educators gathered outside their schools in upwards of 80 cities, rallying in support of a more equitable, just, and well-funded public education system.

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Across the country, we're working with our grantees for educational justice

The Schott Foundation has been having an exciting few weeks of travelling around the country to share ideas, meet allied organizations, and see the work and future planes of our grantees highlighted in a variety of forums and conferences. It’s been great to see innovative and important conversations happening, and we’re glad to share with you some of the highlights!

School District Takeovers: Bad for Students, Bad for Democracy

by John H. Jackson, President & CEO, Schott Foundation for Public Education

Concerns about the importance and need to mobilize Black and Latino voters in 2016 and future elections have reached a fever pitch. But in many states and cities there are counterproductive disenfranchisement actions being taken that disempower Black and Latino communities -- the takeover of their public schools. In this attack on democracy, governance by locally elected school boards is stripped away altogether. This dismantling of democracy in predominantly poor communities and communities of color is now underway, or being proposed, in several states. Denying these citizens' right to elect local school boards through state takeovers or mayoral control should sound the same alarm as denying them the vote because the impact of the action minimizes their democratic voice and vote.

Community members at a rally in Milwaukee, February 17, 2016. Photos taken by @NoMPSTakeover.

Why Arkansas?

by Cassie Schwerner, Senior Vice President of National Partnerships and Ellen Meltzer, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

Why Arkansas? Four years ago, in February 2012, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (WRF) first posed that invitation as a question to fellow funders from across the country. In response, WRF hosted a statewide tour demonstrating to participants Arkansas’ readiness for education reform and investment.

The tour moved funders and advocates, including the Schott Foundation for Pubic Education, to create a full-fledged campaign. Initiated in 2012, the Arkansas Opportunity to Learn (AR OTL) Campaign unites disparate and distinct education advocacy organizations and grassroots groups. They all share a common goal: achieving education policy reforms that benefit all Arkansas students.

Bill Kopsky, Executive Director of the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, speaks to assembled participants.

Why Arkansas? Four years ago, in February 2012, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (WRF) first posed that invitation as a question to fellow funders from across the country. In response, WRF hosted a statewide tour demonstrating to participants Arkansas’ readiness for education reform and investment.

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