Why the South?

The South is what the nation is becoming, a dynamic and diverse region.  It is characterized by above average fertility rates, high migration rates both from the north and from countries south of our borders, the greatest language diversity and the largest variations in income.  These broad patterns give rise to a number of challenges in terms of K-12 enrollment in public schools.  In 2007, low income students – those eligible for free or reduced price lunch –became a new majority in the South's public schools.  The proportion of low income students in public schools in the region continues to steadily grow: in 2008, 12 of the 15 states in the South had a majority of low income students, and in 2011, 13 states did.  

Given the size of public school enrollments in the South, impacting any of the important national indicators of educational progress requires significant progress on these indicators in the South.  The strategic significance of working in the South is even clearer when looking at the enrollments in public school districts by region.  Three quarters of our schools districts have a majority of low income students enrolled.

Learn more about SEF's Mission and Vision.


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