Marcus Hiles takes a stand for disadvantaged children and strongly advocates the right for every student to receive the highest quality of education, regardless of his or her family’s socioeconomic status. Putting words into action, Hiles, the CEO of Western Rim Property Services, purchased over 3,000 backpacks – filled with binders, pencils, note cards and other school supplies – which he personally donated to children in need throughout the Dallas/Forth Worth area.
Charitable actions akin to Hiles’ have become increasingly vital in recent years, as the city’s inner-city school districts have struggled to overcome a 2011 decision by the state Legislature to cut $5.4 billion in education funding. Hit the hardest by the cuts were schools in low-income, urban communities, where minimal property taxes were unable to compensate for the budget loss. Since the controversial 2011 decision, these schools have lost an average of 12 percent of their full-time teachers, leaving students overcrowded and with less individual attention. As reported in the New York Times, the state of Texas considers 66 percent of students in the Dallas district at considerable risk of dropping out, and Marcus Hiles believes the city’s youth must be afforded better opportunities. “For these children hailing from lower income families, a quality education plays a pivotal role in improving social mobility,” Hiles elaborated. “Kindergarten through 6th grade is essential to the next generation’s success.”
The president of the Texas Association of School Administrators, Karen Rue, similarly urged that, “kids deserve transformational, top-to-bottom reform. We need a better understanding of what it costs to educate 5.2 million students.” To assist policymakers in ensuring every child is educated enough to command a job paying above the poverty line, the AEI-Brookings Institute, a Washington, D.C. based nonprofit public policy research organization formed a Working Group on Poverty and Opportunity. In its 2015 report, the Working Group recommended policies increasing public investment in preschool and postsecondary education, promoting social-emotional as well as academic skills, modernizing the organization and accountability of the educational system, and closing resource gaps. Education has always been a vital way for Americans to transform their economic circumstances. In a time of rising inequality, increasing the quality of and access to education has the potential to offer improved opportunities for countless American children.
Marcus Hiles is a renowned real estate investor and the CEO & Chairman of Western Rim Property Services, Texas’ leading supplier of affordable luxury apartments and townhomes. The son of an inner city minister, Hiles’ urban upbringing led to a passion for philanthropy, and he has worked hard to alleviate hardships for economically disadvantaged women and children. Hiles charitable works include over $2.5 million in donations to education initiatives, the construction of two large churches, and the improvement of public parks, lakes, streams and green spaces throughout Texas.