As the new census approaches in 2020, Amarillo continues to lag behind many cities of similar size when it comes to educational attainment.
As of 2017, only 84 percent of the city’s residents had high school diplomas—six points lower than the national rate of 90 percent. Meanwhile, only 20 percent of Amarillo residents have bachelors’ degrees—far lower than the national rate of 30 percent.
One group in Amarillo, known as Panhandle Twenty/20, has taken it upon themselves to improve the situation, using hard data as their guide.
“This kind of work doesn’t happen everywhere, and when others travel here to learn about our work, they are amazed,” says Annette Carlisle, the organization’s director. Carlisle told HPPR that her group was finding success, “in building ongoing efforts around educational attainment and poverty reduction” in the Texas Panhandle.