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.
May26
The widespread closure of public schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic have put a spotlight on their importance not just in educating children, but providing nutrition, mental and physical health support, and critical services to the neighborhoods and communities in which they’re located. But just because they’re closed doesn’t mean they’re not under attack: as we’ve seen happen in places like New Orleans and Puerto Rico some policymakers are using this crisis to push privatization in a moment when it’s more difficult than ever to mobilize students, parents, and educators against such an agenda. And across the country, well before the disaster of COVID-19, many communities were already suffering from the crisis of underfunded schools, racist school discipline and policing, and a systematic disinvestment of public services. Our public schools aren’t failing: they’re being failed. While we must be responsive in the here-and-now to the pressing need of mutual aid and the defense of our schools, this crisis is also an opportunity for us to reimagine public education from the ground up and build the social movements needed to make a more just and equitable public school system a reality. Every child deserves a well-funded sustainable community school that’s the beating heart of their neighborhood. Join us for musical performances and a wide ranging conversation about the danger and hope of this moment from students, parents and educators, how people are forging new bonds through struggle, and what you can do to make sure we emerge from the crisis stronger than we entered it.
May22
From demanding local control of Little Rock School District to hosting an equity bus tour to Little Rock Middle Schools to shine a light on the educational and economic disparities that exist in the district, Grassroots Arkansas (GA) has been a champion of public education. Like so many Schott grantee partners, the Grassroots Arkansas community has seen long existing inequities in education, food security, and housing reinforced and magnified through school closures and the Covid19 pandemic. 
May09
As the saying goes, when the average American coughs, a person of color catches the flu. While COVID-19 is far more serious than the flu, its intensity — as measured by loss of life, lost wages, and learning gaps — has been devastating to people of color. Across the nation, we are now forced to reckon with just how inequitable and inadequate our social safety net actually is. Now, more than ever, we are seeing the critical role our public institutions play in anchoring our society in a storm. And we cannot help but see the deep inequities that people of color face in weathering that storm. All of the issues that have been swept under the rug for decades are now laid bare for us to see: No paid sick leave. Broken healthcare systems. Lack of affordable housing. Families who were living paycheck to paycheck that are now unemployed. Inequitable funding for our public schools, worsened by closures and students without access to food or the internet.
May08
The Schott Foundation’s partners are providing critically-needed aid in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, just as they’ve done during previous crises. At the same time they are fighting to ensure those most impacted by school closures, job and housing insecurity, and hunger are included in shaping policies and allocating resources, especially in historically marginalized Black and brown communities.
May05
As a member of the Class of 2020 you are facing extraordinary challenges of school closings, trying to complete courses via distance learning, without in-person support from teachers and the connection to friends—and possibly without the graduation ceremony you and your family have been looking forward to for years. You’re tackling these challenges—as you have overcome other hurdles throughout your school years—and we celebrate your determination, your resilience.  Needed now more than ever. The Proud #PublicSchoolGrad scholarship is way to celebrate you – and help you take the next step of continuing your education.
Apr29
The undersigned organizations representing school administrators, teachers, parents and education and civil rights advocates are committed to equitable educational opportunities for our nation’s students.  Understandably, as the COVID-19 pandemic extended to the United States, federal, state, tribal, and local governments have closed school buildings to prevent the spread of the novel virus. School closures have impacted 55 million K-12 students nationwide.  Although school buildings are closed, education and support services have continued, as “it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education.”  Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 493 (1954). 
Apr20
Dr. Leah Austin, whose dynamic career has included teaching, grantmaking, organizing, research and evaluation, has joined the Schott Foundation for Public Education as Director of the National Opportunity to Learn Network. In her leadership role she will work with Schott grantees and partners to support effective campaigns focused on building systems to provide all students an opportunity to learn—through philanthropic support and other strategic capacity building resources.
Apr15
The Schott Foundation’s partners are providing critically-needed aid in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, just as they’ve done during previous crises. At the same time they are fighting to ensure those most impacted by school closures, job and housing insecurity, and hunger are included in shaping policies and allocating resources, especially in historically marginalized Black and brown communities. 
Apr09
The 2020 Census is underway, with the first wave of forms being mailed across the country on April 1, and data collection continuing through the Fall. The COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted all of our lives could make the Census more difficult—so it’s critical that communities mobilize to make sure all their neighbors are counted.
Apr08
The Funders Collaborative on Youth Organizing (FCYO) is holding two digital organizing trainings coming up this week and next to give advocates the tools they need to continue serving the people and fighting for change:

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