Tilling the Field: Lessons About Philanthropy's Role in School Discipline Reform

Tilling the Field: Lessons About Philanthropy's Role in School Discipline Reform

Grantmakers can help create opportunities to effect change in school discipline policy through a strategic combination of investments designed to (re)frame the problem, identify and lift up viable policy alternatives, and apply pressure for change, a report from finds. The report, (60 pages, PDF), highlights the evolution of and lessons learned from a four-year, $47 million school discipline reform initiative launched in 2010 to replace zero-tolerance policies with those designed to keep vulnerable children in school and out of the juvenile justice system. The report describes how private funders cultivated public demand for local reform by supporting vigorous advocacy by parents, students, and legal advocates; partnered with the federal government to create mandates and incentives; engaged allies across sectors, including educators and judges; and supported these  strategies by sharing best practices and disseminating research.