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Jennifer O’Neal Schiess

By Elizabeth Cryan Photography with permission from Donnell-Kay Foundation at Rocky Mountain Prep school

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Jennifer O’Neal Schiess
Principal
Policy and Thought Leadership

Background: Jennifer O'Neal Schiess is a principal on the Policy and Thought Leadership team. Since 2014, she has worked with a range of clients, including national and state advocacy organizations, nonprofits, policy think tanks, and foundations. She advises clients on state and national education policy, covering a range of topics. Jennifer has led work on personalized learning, school finance, school transportation, rural education, and governance. Prior to joining Bellwether, she worked with the Texas Legislature for a decade in a non-partisan role, serving as a senior adviser on the public education budget, school finance, and the fiscal and policy implications of a range of other public education issues including standards, assessment, and accountability; educator quality, compensation, and benefits; and charter schools and school choice policy. She also worked in university and governmental relations for Vanderbilt University and taught English in a public high school in Nashville. Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Duke University, a master’s degree in education from Vanderbilt University, and a master’s degree in public policy from Duke University.

Experience at Bellwether: policy and strategy advising, research

Client segments served: policy research and advocacy organizations, think tanks, nonprofits, foundations, policymakers 

Sample clients: Stand for Children, TNTP, Alliance for Excellent Education, the Walton Family Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Why I do this work: I benefited from a high-quality public school experience that prepared me well for my college and career goals, and I believe it is our duty and obligation to ensure that all children have equitable access to the education and support they need to prepare them for success.

Recent Media

Publication
Jennifer O'Neal Schiess
Phillip Burgoyne-Allen

Every day, nearly 25 million students ride a big yellow bus to school. These iconic vehicles are so entrenched in American school culture that their likeness is the predominant symbol for education.

There’s good reason for this. Since the yellow school bus came on the scene decades ago, almost nothing has changed about the vehicles or how school systems use them to transport students.

But do school transportation systems still meet the needs of current students, families, and schools? In "Miles to Go: Bringing School Transportation into the 21st Century,” we analyze school transportation on a national scale through multiple lens.