Fair and Just School Resources
In the United States public schools are funded through a mix of local, state and federal funding. For the most part, schools serving students of color and students from low-income communities have less funding per student than schools in wealthier neighborhoods. These resource disparities perpetuate opportunity gaps in schools and in our broader society. No child’s educational opportunities should be limited because of their zip code. The Schott Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that every student has access to fair and just school resources.
The Latest on Fair & Just School Resources
What will it take to ensure that all children have an opportunity to learn, regardless of their background or which school they attend? The work of the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado has long pointed out that the problems of inequity in public education aren’t just contained within our public schools, but also stem from larger structural issues in the community like unemployment, poverty, and disinvestment of public resources.
Last year, parents, students, teachers, and community members in Los Angeles achieved a huge victory for the city’s public schools: they successfully pushed the LA school board to adopt the “Equity Is Justice Resolution," which will guide the distribution of new state funding to prioritize the highest-needs students and schools.
In February 2015, the Schott Foundation for public education released the 2015 edition of its biennial report on public education and black male students. Watch (and share!) this short animation about the report. Read the full report here.
In Part 2 of the ongoing series "A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Public Schools," filmmaker Phoebe Ferguson chronicles how the city's struggling public schools were seized by the state following Katrina and handed over to private, charter school operators. Now, in the nation's first all-charter school district, New Orleans parents and students must contend with the failures of this massive experiment in "school choice." Too many schools continue to struggle, deprived of the resources they need to give all kids the educational opportunities they deserve.
Schott’s 50-state report series chronicles the hurdles and systemic challenges in the national education system that result in frustrating, racially identifiable gaps in graduation rates, including disparities in school discipline and inequitable school supports. The 2015 report illustrates the inexcusable degree to which Black male students are neglected by our nation's inequitable public education system.
An important new report from the African American Policy Forum is a must-read for anyone committed to understanding how both race and gender impact educational opportunity in our country. Black Girls Matter: Pushed-Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected combines national data on school discipline with interviews with young women of color to paint a picture of their experiences in school and in their communities and to offer suggestions for how we can better support them.
In early October 2014, parents, students, teachers and community members attended a summit hosted by the Arkansas Opportunity to Learn Campaign. Watch this great video from the event and meet the dedicated members of this statewide campaign fighting for great public schools for all Arkansas students.
Philadelphia's schools opened at the start of this school year in the midst of a funding crisis. While state lawmakers dragged their heels on a proposed cigarette tax to provide money for the city's schools, parents, students and teachers took to the streets for a week of protests to demand the full, fair funding their schools deserve. The Media Mobilizing Project captured the week of protests in this great new video.
The first video in a three-part series, "Revival From the Roots: A Tour of Philly's Neighborhood Schools" follows Jerry Jordan, President of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, and Hellen Gym, parent and education advocate, as they hear firsthand from students, parents and teachers fighting to turn around public education from the bottom up.
Students from Utica, NY, are organizing with OTL allies across the state to support their public schools and fight for fair school funding. Here's what they have to say!