Failure to educate people of color will ruin the Dallas economy

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Racially segregated schools and Dallas’ continuing failure to educate people of color puts our city on track for a losing economy in the next 10 years.

Two recent publications highlight that potential crisis. One is a story from The Atlantic investigating the tragic depths and coming consequences of public school segregation in Dallas.

Another is the J.P. Morgan Chase “New Skills at Work” report presented to City Council Wednesday.

The report spells out the disparity in education and success among white, black and Hispanic residents. And it points out that there are about 42,000 jobs open in Dallas every year for which there are not enough skilled workers.

education by race

 

Because of that education gap, black and Hispanic Dallasites are far more likely to suffer unemployment and working poverty. Dallas’ 24.4 percent poverty rate is well above the national average of 14.5 percent.

Twenty five percent of Hispanics in Dallas are living in poverty. For African Americans, the rate is not much better at 23 percent. For white people in Dallas, the poverty rate is lower than the national average, at 8 percent.

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Chase made a number of suggestions that began and ended with education.

The Dallas economy is strong now, but The Atlantic story cautions that Dallas’ failure to educate people of color will result in a huge percentage of our population being unprepared for college and careers. That could quickly dismantle our economy.

Check out the Dallas Observer’s astute assessment of the article’s hits and misses.


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