The Budd Center: Involving Communities in Education

The Budd Center: Involving Communities in Education

Low income children have academic and social needs that exceed the resources of schools or communities alone. SMU’s Budd Center: Involving Communities in Education (The Budd Center) within the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development equips school districts and nonprofits to work together to assess and meet the extraordinary needs of children in poverty. 

The Budd Center builds data sharing infrastructure, makes previously inaccessible data available, and trains partners to use assessments to develop collaborative and highly targeted plans to accelerate students’ academic success.

The support of Dorothy and Russell Budd enables The Budd Center to strengthen its focus on fighting poverty by transforming education at a community level. The Budd Center evolved from the Dallas Faith Communities Coalition, a group of West Dallas nonprofit agencies working together to develop solutions to poverty. In 2011 the Coalition entered into partnership with the Simmons School through what was originally called the Center on Communities and Education at SMU.

Partnering with West Dallas

The School Zone – West Dallas (TSZ) is The Budd Center’s flagship project. It exists to ensure that West Dallas children have the educational tools they need to exit poverty as adults.

TSZ is a collective impact partnership between 29 nonprofits, 16 public, private and charter schools, the Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD) and two universities. It leverages the power of collaboration, scale and data-based decision making to target resources and programs to areas of greatest student need. Our initial focus is the Pinkston High School feeder pattern in West Dallas; however, TSZ is a scalable model for other communities.