The Schott Foundation for Public Education

About Us


To develop and strengthen a broad-based and representative movement to achieve fully resourced, quality PreK-12 public education.

Schott supports an “Opportunity to Learn” frame on educational policy, which focuses on ensuring that resources are provided for all students to have an equitable opportunity to learn and produce high achievement outcomes. The Opportunity to Learn (OTL) Campaign unites a growing coalition of advocates and organizers from across the country working to ensure that all students have access to a high quality public education. The Campaign includes local, state and national organizations, grassroots community leaders, policymakers, youth organizers, business leaders and philanthropic partners. Standards-based reform, and the high-stakes testing that goes with it, has been our nation's dominant education policy in recent decades. But this approach has done nothing to address the deep inequities in access to educational opportunity, particularly for low-income students and students of color. By focusing solely on the achievement gap, our nation has failed to address the opportunity gap that creates it.


Schott’s core belief is that only a grassroots movement can lead to systemic change in the disparities poor children and children of color face in our country’s schools.  In helping to build this movement, Schott recognizes its pivotal role as both funder and advocate.


Not All Public Educations Are Equal

Every day, hundreds of thousands of children in the United States attend dilapidated public schools with overcrowded classrooms, and outdated text books and materials. They are frequently denied access to quality teaching as well. At the Schott Foundation, we believe that quality public education is a mainstay of our democracy. Quality public education provides not only the route out of poverty, but can dismantle structural racism and transform young lives. This conviction drives Schott’s grant-making strategy, which seeks to ensure fairness, opportunity and access to high quality public schools for all children.

Advancing Fairness, Access and Opportunity in Education Through Strategic Grant-making, Convenings, and Leveraging

The Schott Foundation supports grantees working toward state-wide high quality education for all, paying particular attention to the most vulnerable students. Specifically, The Schott Foundation provides and promotes grant-making, convenings, strategic planning and donor collaboration to:

  • Build public will to guarantee every child has the right to high-quality public education.
  • Support statewide campaigns to educate the public and policymakers.
  • Develop partnerships with donors, funders, business leaders, education reform advocates, teachers, parents, youth and community leaders.
  • Foster the growth of emerging leaders in traditionally underserved communities.

Philanthropic achievements

Since 1991, The Schott Foundation has created significant impact by carefully thought out strategy and a clear idea of what the win will be. Some recent Schott grantee accomplishments include:

  • Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) won a landmark victory at the New York Court of Appeals. The Court directed the state legislature to adequately fund New York City schools by July 30, 2004. The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court affirmed the Supreme Court ruling on appeal, ordering the State to provide New York City's schools $4.7 to $5.63 billion in operating aid and $11 billion in capital funding by April 1, 2006. In 2007, the state legislature voted to enact an unprecedented increase of $1.76 billion in aid for FY2007-08. Other New York education public policy gains in 2007 call for smaller class sizes, full day pre-kindergarten, teacher quality initiatives and other reforms.
  • CFE and AQE have ensured that New York’s movement for fiscal equity is racially and geographically diverse, both in its leadership and constituency.
  • An Act Establishing Early Education for All was filed in December 2002 by the Early Education for All campaign. Over 100 Massachusetts legislators have co-signed the bill. On June 15, 2006, the Massachusetts Senate unanimously (37-0) passed S.2583, An Act Relative to Early Education and Care, landmark legislation creating the Massachusetts Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program.
  • The Council for Fair School Finance case, Hancock v Driscoll, moved to the Supreme Justice Court during the summer of 2004.
  • Initiated in October 2003, The Schott Fellowship in Early Care and Education supports a diverse group of senior early childhood education leaders to engage in policy research in support of the movement for universal early education.
  • The Massachusetts Leadership Empowerment Project (MassLEAP) has trained six hundred diverse early childhood education providers to be a part of the decision making process in the field of early care and education.
  • The Gender Equity in Model Sites (GEMS) Initiative was launched in two Greater Boston schools in 2003 to create models of school climate that are sensitive and equitable with regards to gender, race, class, and other identities.

Current philanthropic interests:

Looking forward, Schott’s strategic grantmaking will seek to achieve measurable increases in state allocations for equitable education in both Massachusetts and New York. Specifically, in two to five years, Schott wants these increases to include:

  1. per pupil financial allocations and
  2. well-established and growing state-level allocations for early childhood education.

As we work towards these positive changes, Schott will also seek to diversify the leadership around these issues. Specifically, Schott wants to: increase the number of women and people of color in policy leadership positions.

© Copyright 2013 Schott Foundation for Public Education. All rights reserved.
675 Massachusetts Avenue 8th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02139 Phone: 617-876-7700 Fax: 617-876-7702