The OTL Campaign Blog

Wednesday March 27th, 2013

A new voice is chiming in to the school discipline debate: the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released a policy statement condemning the overuse of out-of-school suspensions and expulsions, and advocating instead for positive discipline polices and wraparound health and social services for all students.

Monday March 25th, 2013

Hundreds of young people from across Massachusetts convened at the State House to represent their communities in this year's fight for state funding for education, transportation and infrastructure, and youth jobs through progressive revenue proposals. Young people from Lexington to Boston, from Lowell to Arlington and beyond visited their representatives to share their personal stories and explain the significance of more state funding.

Wednesday March 20th, 2013

A report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds that "a sea change is underway in our nation's approach to dealing with young people who get in trouble with the law." Though the US still leads the industrialized world in youth incarceration rates, that rate has dropped more than 40 percent over a 15-year period. However, five states – Arkansas, Idaho, Nebraska, South Dakota and West Virginia – bucked the norm and saw an increase in youth confinement.

Wednesday March 20th, 2013

A+NYC, a coalition of 45 grassroots education groups in New York City, led a bus tour this past week across the city to let community members make their voices heard in the education debate. The group put together a visual exhibit for a "new direction" for NYC public schools showcasing the classes, programs and policies that work to build successful public schools, and elevating the voices of the parents, students and teachers who are usually left out of these conversations."

Tom Beebe, Director, Opportunity to Learn – Wisconsin
Tuesday March 19th, 2013

What started as an anemic bump in aid for Wisconsin public schools has been reduced to a pittance through politicized accounting games that are funneling desperately needed funds towards private charter schools and voucher programs. This lack of funding only exacerbates the state's broken school funding system, which has relentlessly widened the gap between the cost of quality education and the state’s share of that cost, resulting in decades of underfunding.

Tuesday March 19th, 2013

Colorado has long been at the center of the debate over school safety. There, and in many other states across the country, zero-tolerance policies were enacted that, while well-intentioned, ended up criminalizing students over the slightest infractions and establishing a school-to-prison pipeline. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the grassroots group Padres y Jóvenes Unidos, Denver Public Schools are a big step closer to the end of excessive policing of their students.

Monday March 18th, 2013

On Monday, March 4th, youth of color from across the country held a rally on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol followed by a march to the White House to call on Congress and the Obama administration to reject school safety policies that criminalize students of color, immigrant youth, LGBTQ students and students with disabilities, and push them out of school.

Monday March 18th, 2013

Like most states, Pennsylvania's Constitution requires the state to provide students with access to a basic public education. And, like most states, there's a gap between what resources students need to get that promised basic education and what the state is actually funding. In a letter to Gov. Tom Corbett, education advocates from across the state, including several OTL allies, wrote that "the basic educational needs of Pennsylvania's children are not being met."

Friday March 15th, 2013

Despite the wealth of research showing that early learning and after-school programs help close the achievement gap by ensuring children are prepared to start school and continue to achieve once they're there, a report from NY OTL ally Campaign for Children shows how funding instability for these programs could lead to their collapse.

Jeff Bryant, Education Opportunity Network
Wednesday March 13th, 2013

Sold as a way to “empower” parents to improve the education attainment of their children, school choice initiatives take on many forms, including vouchers, “scholarships,” and tax credits. The most radical form of school choice is the so-called “parent trigger.” But rather then uniting parents in doing what’s best for children, the parent trigger bring deception, division and disruption to the community and leaves parents overwhelmed and powerless.

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