In the misery-loves-company category, it turns out that only families in Chicago’s school system exceed the 89 percent poverty level of DISD’s parents, meaning that’s the percentage of families earning less than 130 percent ($30,600) of the federal government’s defined poverty level for a family of 4.
A friend at the New York Times pointed out this MSNBC/Chris Hayes video link. In the 2.5-minute video, the host talks about the problems of educating hungry kids and what some of the country’s largest school systems are doing to address the issue. Turns out five major public schools systems (Dallas, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis and Ohio) now offer free lunches for all students (Dallas began offering the free lunches prior to last school year).
The video doesn’t break any new ground or deliver any answers. It’s just sobering to be reminded that here in Dallas, not everyone is buying a new home in a hot neighborhood or attending the latest opening of that swanky bar or restaurant down the street. And it’s a reminder of the importance of the work of the Home Rule Charter Commission, which began meeting earlier this week, in helping determine whether to scrap DISD’s governance system or try to refine it.
And in an ironic twist, when I first clicked on the link, the ubiquitous 30-second ad preceding the news item hyped the new Infinity Q50S luxury sedan, which starts at about $38,000, not including taxes, license and delivery fees — the cost of that car alone is well over what 90 percent of DISD’s families will earn in a year.
Not to worry, though: The second time I clicked on the video, Purex laundry detergent was the sponsor.