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

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Monday February 26, 2018 –

In the midst of our current challenges and unique political moment, it is necessary to declare a new day in America for our young people. America’s new day must start by acknowledging the fact that providing all children an opportunity to learn requires that we provide them with the supports they need to thrive outside the school, starting at birth.

Throughout American history, the policies and practices that created opportunity gaps from birth have been baked into the ecosystem of local and state systems. It is well documented that many of these policies and practices were rooted in implicit racial bias at best, and explicit racism and hate at worst. Even today, far too many of the the policies and practices that govern how cities manage and resource housing, education, healthcare, transportation, workforce development, criminal justice, and civic engagement reinforce inequity in outcomes for children and families of color compared to their White peers by creating a system of barriers to success across all facets of a child’s living and learning environments from the time of their birth.

Today, our best shot for healing communities of their achievement gap is by addressing the larger living climate opportunity gaps. Likewise, our best chance for supporting healing in communities harmed by practices rooted in hate is through current practices that create loving systems.

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Wednesday January 31, 2018 –

Our latest Grassroots Education Series webinar was dedicated to YOU — the very people who are working in coalition with others at every level in your communities to protect, restore and advance opportunities for now and future generations. We heard your resolutions to continue to: fight for social, economic, racial and gender justice; become more engaged; stay more present; make more calls; educate more people; be more patient; build new relationships; focus on your health (and stay hydrated, exfoliated and moisturized all at the same time!).

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Thursday November 16, 2017 –

Today, we have an opportunity as a nation to uplift Native American communities and tackle the gross inequities that persist as a result of our country’s brutal legacy of genocide, theft and racism. Education advocates and philanthropy can play an important role in that effort by reversing its own historical legacy of under investment and moving to boldly support Native led social change.

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Wednesday October 25, 2017 –
The struggles for racial justice and educational justice have been interlinked from the beginning of our nation’s history. It was under Black leadership during Reconstruction that the South saw the first state-funded public schools. The long, arduous work to win and maintain school integration was a keystone struggle during the Civil Rights movement. And today, the most powerful and energetic movements for education justice — fighting for fair funding, strong neighborhood public schools, and restorative justice — are those that take an intersectional approach to organizing.
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Tuesday September 12, 2017 –
The Schott Foundation for Public Education is proud to present the next installment in a two-part webinar series highlighting 21st Century Inclusive Leadership in Philanthropy. In part one of our series Antoinette Malveaux, Dr. Sherece West Scantlebury and Kirsten Livingston offered important insight and reflections from their unique experiences and leadership journeys as women of color. They discussed why accountability, gratitude, reflection and dying to ego are key attributes core to inclusive leadership practice.
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Wednesday August 30, 2017 –

In this new age of political uncertainty and social unrest, leaders of color will be key to navigating philanthropy's future. The Schott Foundation for Public Education is proud to present the first in a two-part webinar series highlighting 21st Century Inclusive Leadership in Philanthropy. In celebrating Black Philanthropy Month in August, we will honor the contributions of Black professionals in the field and the cultural tradition of generosity that exists in our communities. 

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Thursday June 22, 2017 –
The future of our public schools is being determined right now — but do you have a seat at the table? The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), passed in 2015, is being implemented across the country. The ESSA accountability plans that states and districts are setting up now could lead us toward equity and opportunity or push us down the path of privatization and disinvestment.
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Friday May 19, 2017 –
Rev. Dr. William Barber was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Schott Foundation 25th Anniversary Awards Gala, and his acceptance speech brought the crowd to their feet and quickly went viral.
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Friday April 21, 2017 –

It’s time for a brave conversation about the role racism has in perpetuating the disparities we’re working together to eliminate - and how we, as philanthropy, given our history of privilege and wealth - can be a more authentic partner with community to address healing and reconciliation in our world.

We examined philanthropy’s role in addressing structural racism from the inside out. We discussed both the progress philanthropy has made and challenges that remain. We also highlighted practices and strategies for improving as a field to advance equity within our communities.