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.
At the Schott Foundation we’ve been working for more than twenty-five years to support and empower the grassroots, community-centered organizations that are building movements strong enough to enact serious policy change. Here are a few ways to look at our impact in 2018 — which we're using to inform our 2019 strategy.
Today, as a member of the Lumbee Tribe and a foundation official, I plan to join with people across the United States to observe the third annual National Day of Racial Healing. Started by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, this national day is designed to bring Americans together to demonstrate solidarity and work toward healing our racial divides. But what does it take to truly heal?
More than 30,000 teachers at the Los Angeles Unified School District — the second-largest school district in the country after New York City — are about to go on strike. Support for L.A. teachers has been pouring in from across the country and, crucially, from within their own community too. Here is what you need to know about the upcoming strike and the politics & organizing around it:
2018 was a pivotal year in the education justice movement, for both bad and good reasons. We saw Education Secretary DeVos’ penchant for privatization and ultra conservative viewpoints result in actions like the imposition of harmful new Title IX guidance and the systematic dismissal of civil rights complaints. But we also saw a historic wave of teacher strikes roll across the nation, and scores of victories for public education in states, cities, and districts. Indeed, in this ESSA world most education policy struggles have been taking place below the Federal level — this trend should continue and accelerate in 2019, particularly as many municipal and school board officials face the voters this November. At the Schott Foundation we’ve been working for more than twenty-five years to support and empower the grassroots, community-centered organizations that are building movements strong enough to enact serious policy change. Here are ten policy victories our grantee partners and allies have celebrated in 2018, all of which provide the momentum for the important work ahead this year.
This week the New York Times profiled Schott Vice President Edgar Villanueva's new book Decolonizing Wealth and raised up his urgent call for a new direction in the philanthropic sector. As a public fund that supports funders in advancing social justice philanthropy, we at Schott are proud of Edgar and the deeply thoughtful dialogue he is sparking.
The Journey for Justice Alliance (J4J) is a national network of Black and Brown led, grassroots community-based organizations in more than 30 cities. Every day they are building the grassroots organizing needed to win community-driven school improvement and equity in public education. On a very small budget J4J has been able to make an incredible impact at the local and national level — which makes your donation all the more important. We at Schott are proud to stand with and support J4J, and hope you will too:
For those of you who tweet entirely too much (which applies to many of us at Schott!) we've assembled our first annual Twitter list of Education Justice Superstars, individuals who are helping to expand the education conversation online. They’re leading the way, pushing racial and gender equity, fair funding, community schools, grassroots organizing and other crucial issues to the fore. So while you're sitting back after a plate full of turkey tomorrow, don't forget to add these superstars to your feed:
Schott wants to be clear and transparent about our institutional values that undergird all of our evaluation efforts. We welcome feedback from our grantees and our philanthropic partners. Email with questions or comments. Strengthening the education justice movement is at the center of our evaluation efforts. We believe that evaluation must first and foremost be responsive to the education justice movement on the ground, particularly to the work of our grantee partners and allied organizations. We trust these partners to identify evaluation priorities that are of immediate use in their work. Schott’s role as a funder is not to control the production of knowledge by dictating the kinds of information that matter — through grant applications and final reports — at the detriment of grassroots learning, leadership cultivation, organizational capacity, and growth. Rather, our role is to facilitate a culture of shared documentation, learning, and reflection that informs grassroots organizing efforts and education policy solutions through the lens of race, class, and gender justice.
At Education Opportunity Network, Jeff Bryant has assembled important updates and lessons for education advocates as we all assess where the 2018 election season leaves us.
This is an exciting week at Schott—it marks the official release of Decolonizing Wealth, the provocative new book by Edgar Villanueva, Schott’s Vice President of Programs and Advocacy. It’s in bookstores nationwide—and is deservedly garnering wide attention, spurring candid assessments and dialogue within philanthropy. John Jackson, Schott President & CEO urges colleagues to heed the book’s insights. “Through Decolonizing Wealth, Edgar Villanueva reinserts purpose and humanity into a philanthropic industry that has too often been driven by wealth accumulation, grant cycles, portfolios and metrics. Inspired by Indigenous worldview, the book pushes philanthropy back towards its original meaning, “love for humanity.” It is a must read for those new and old in philanthropy as well as those seeking to use their resources to create loving systems.”