About Dallas Kids First

Our Mission

To raise awareness around the leadership of the school board in Dallas ISD and support school board campaigns with a sharp focus on outcomes for kids. 

WHY?

Every kid deserves a great education. While there is recognition on the importance of leaders in our classrooms and leaders on our campuses, it is important to have that same recognition on the leadership of our district's publicly elected school board members. 

Currently, voter turnout for our school board leaders averages between 5-7% depending on each election year; yet, these leaders manage a $1.4 billion budget, propose policies for 156,000 students, and have the responsibility of hiring & firing the superintendent.

"The fact that board members can influence achievement, even loosely, merits much more attention - surely by scholars but also by voters, parents, taxpayers, and other policy-makers."  - Improving School Board Effectiveness

How? 

Information Sharing. Dallas Kids First reaches a diverse audience of stakeholders by sharing summaries of the school board meetings, generating a vote tracker with the key issues of each public vote, and gathering education leaders from 15+ organizations in the DFW area to gather ideas for action and disseminate information to impacted groups.

School Board Campaign Support. Each year, Dallas Kids First facilitates an endorsement process. Community members, advisory board members, and governing board members contribute to the development of a candidate rubric, a candidate questionnaire, and a candidate interview. Individuals who are seeking election to the board can interview with the community panel and anyone signed up on the Dallas Kids First email list can complete a survey to indicate their preference before a final endorsement decision is made. Once a candidate has received DKF's support, our team partners with the existing campaign through the election.

Funding. As a political action committee, our work is only possible thanks to individuals who choose to donate to our work. The cumulative donations allow DKF to have the tools necessary for sharing the work of our elected officials in the DISD School Board, reaching constituents in various community groups, and organizing voters to participate in the candidate endorsement process across each election cycle. While donors trust in the DKF team to live by the mission, they themselves cannot participate in the endorsement process (if they've given more than $200). It is truly thanks to the members that DKF is able to spread awareness and empower voters to decide on leadership at the polls. Read more about making a donation here.

OUR MEMBERS

Dallas Kids First started as a non-partisan group of concerned citizens and parents who organized to help find, support, and elect great Dallas Independent School District (DISD) school board leaders. This group shared a belief that every kid in Dallas deserves access to quality public schools. Now, the DKF membership base has grown to include students, educators, and community leaders who also share this belief and recognize that school board elections matter - 

Your vote counts. You can make a difference.



OUR BELIEFS

We believe in making tough decisions that put kids first.

  • All students deserve outstanding teachers.

  • Great schools have empowered and accountable leaders.

  • High expectations for everyone involved in education.

OUR PROGRESS

We have made great strides over the last several years with DKF-endorsed board members who support initiatives that have brought improvements to DISD. Since 2012, our community has seen significant increases in:

  • 66% of Dallas ISD schools are rated A’s and B’s from the State.

  • Dallas ISD turned around schools deemed ‘Improvement Required’ (lowest state rating) and went from having 43 campuses to just 3 campuses with this label in a matter of four years, thanks to the focus & decision-making at the Board level.

  • Dallas ISD has a growing investment in early childhood. Students who attend DISD Pre K are twice as likely to be ready for Kindergarten. Kids who are Kindergarten-ready are three times as likely to be reading on-grade level in 3rd grade. Kids who are reading on-grade level in 3rd grade are four times as likely to graduate from high school.


There is still more work to do, and our Dallas Kids First Team hopes to work alongside you to improve outcomes for kids!