The Issue

Dallas is at a tipping point . . . .

As our community attempts to return to a sense of normalcy following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, working poor families face a new challenge: the threat of recession. Nearly everyone is affected by rising costs of gas, food, and rent that have been reported in the news lately. The average single mother in Dallas spends 50% on housing and 30% on childcare expenses, leaving just 20% for food, clothing, transportation, and other expenses. As a result, many children will not have adequate food or sufficient clothing, while others may find themselves alone after school or in the summer due to the cost of care. One in five children in Dallas currently lives in poverty, and 50,000 of those qualify as living in extreme poverty (Economic Issues for Women in Texas, 2020). This means that too many Dallas children lack a fair chance to be healthy, well-educated, and financially secure. Poverty is linked to lower levels of student achievement and correlated to higher rates of behavioral and socio-emotional problems in school. Students who live in poverty come to school every day without the proper tools for success. As a result, they are commonly behind their classmates physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively.