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.
Aug23
This week the Schott Foundation held a funder's briefing and reception at the Ford Foundation in New York City. More than 30 funders attended a panel discussion and group conversations with our partners about the importance of grassroots organizing for education justice. Kicked off with framing remarks by Schott President & CEO Dr. John H. Jackson and Vice President Edgar Villanueva, panelists included Step Up Louisiana's co-founder Maria Harmon, Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools Director Keron Blair, and Schott Board member & Youth on Board Director of Special Projects Carlos Rojas Álvarez, moderated by Schott's Director of Programs & Advocacy Marianna Islam. Sanjiv Rao, Director of Civic Engagement and Government at the Ford Foundation, closed the session by emphasizing Ford’s partnership with Schott to build increased support for grassroots groups.
Aug22
This week we were proud to host a room full of our grantee partners to strengthen our collective fundraising skills and strategies. "Fundraising for the Front Lines" was a two-day training led by Marjorie Fine and Sheena Brown and hosted at the Ford Foundation offices in New York City.
Aug09
At this year's annual Social Impact Exchange conference Schott VP Edgar Villanueva spoke on a panel with other philanthropic leaders to discuss how philanthropic organizations can help address the systemic problems at the root of so many of the challenges we face, from education to health to economic mobility.
Jul17
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. To celebrate public high school graduates and the educators who helped them along their path, Schott held our first Proud #PublicSchoolGrad scholarship contest. Out of hundreds of entrants, we're proud to announce that Breanna Hall is the winner!
Jul11
In a recent interview by Dylan Matthews at Vox, Schott Vice President of Programs and Advocacy Edgar Villanueva described how the racial wealth gap has translated to a similar gap in philanthropic giving: a bias in how that wealth is dispersed, which keeps control away from people of color, and minimizes donations to groups run by people of color for the benefit of communities of color.
Jun28
Schott is very proud of our partnership with the Nellie Mae Education Foundation (NMEF) and our joint support for grassroots organizing as a critical strategy for ensuring all children have a fair and just opportunity to learn. NMEF’s recent report, Building Power: One Foundation’s Story of Funding Grassroots Organizing and Engagement, provides valuable insight into their theory of change and grantmaking designed to increase support for systems change within school districts and key state and local stakeholders—and build demand to realize that change. This rigorous examination and the lessons learned are an important catalyst to the dialogue within philanthropy about what it takes to foster authentic participation, and to effectively and equitably support grassroots organizing and advocacy. We urge you to read it—and join the dialogue!
Jun19
Since its founding the Schott Foundation has worked to help build a broad-based movement to ensure all children have an opportunity to learn. Importantly, a movement led by the grassroots leaders in communities of color who are most impacted by educational inequities and other barriers to opportunity. It’s not arms-length philanthropy, but close working partnerships with our grantees and allies that undergirds all our work. Schott's Vice President of Programs & Advocacy, Edgar Villanueva, adds his insight in How To Be a Better Ally and Why It Matters.
Jun11
The advancement of school discipline reform has been a bright spot among what often feels like a sea of bad news in education. Coalitions like the Dignity in Schools Campaign and national groups like the Advancement Project and NAACP have long highlighted the unjust, inequitable and ineffective school discipline policies that far too many children attend school under. Studies consistently show the school-to-prison pipeline is built on a bedrock of white supremacist, patriarchal, heteronormative and ableist biases. Fortunately, innovative cross-sector organizing uniting young people, parents and educators have been able to push positive reform policies in states and districts across the country — first by curbing harmful punishments like suspensions and expulsions, and then by introducing positive policies to replace them, like restorative practices and accountability processes that center healing instead of punishment. However, a new report shows just how uneven these reforms have been implemented, and how desperately far many states and districts need to go.
May20
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. Are you or someone you know graduating in 2019 from a public high school? Help us lift up the importance of public education — with a chance to win a $1,000 college scholarship!
May17
It’s been sixty-five years since the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision signalled the beginning of a profound shift in public education across the country. The U.S. Supreme Court in refuting the doctrine of “separate but equal” was not acting alone, but was reflecting a long-held understanding held by Black communities throughout the segregated South — communities organizing and mobilizing together, shaking the chains of Jim Crow and the firmament of white supremacy that held them in place.

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