George Lucas Educational Foundation

William Parrett and Kathleen Budge

Director Center for School Improvement and Policy Studies / Associate Professor Educational Leadership

William H. Parrett has received international recognition for his work in school improvement related to students who live in poverty. He has co-authored nine books, the most recent being the 2012 award-winning Turning High-Poverty Schools Into High-Performing Schools, written with Kathleen Budge. Bill is the director of the Center for School Improvement & Policy Studies at Boise State University. He is a frequent speaker at international and national conferences, and his consultancies include state departments, boards of education, state and regional service providers, and school districts in 44 states and 10 nations. Bill holds a Ph.D. in Secondary Education from Indiana University.

Throughout his career, he has worked to improve the educational achievement of all students, especially those less advantaged. Those efforts have positively impacted the lives of thousands of young people.

Kathleen Budge is an associate professor at Boise State University, where her research and scholarly activity focuses on educational leadership, leadership development, rural education, school improvement, and poverty. She also coordinates Boise State’s Executive Educational Leadership Program. She has conducted numerous presentations at national and state conferences as well as published several journal articles on her research interests. She is co-author with William Parrett of the 2012 award-winning book Turning High-Poverty Schools Into High-Performing Schools. She earned her doctorate from the University of Washington in 2005. With 26 years in P-12 education, she continues to maintain that her most important and significant work has been teaching first graders to read.


  • Education Equity

    5 Questions That Promote Student Success in High-Poverty Schools

    High-poverty schools can meet student, professional, and system learning agendas by strengthening instructional framework, targeted interventions, reading proficiency, reflective practice, and data-based inquiry.
  • Education Equity

    How Can High-Poverty Schools Engage Families and the Community?

    High-poverty schools can involve students' families through home visits and by joining the community's safety net to provide social and medical services for those in need.
  • Education Equity

    How Can High-Poverty Schools Connect With Students?

    In high-poverty schools, it's critical to establish caring relationships, supporting students through advisory programs, create smaller learning environments, and encourage participation in extracurricular activities.
  • Education Equity

    How Does Poverty Influence Learning?

    Poverty-related factors that intervene in students' ability to learn include health and well-being, limited literacy and language development, access to material resources, and level of mobility.
  • Education Equity

    What Can Schools Do to Address Poverty?

    Schools can address poverty through teaching social justice, offering equal academic opportunities, and discreetly providing school supplies, snacks, clothes, and other basic necessities.
  • Education Equity

    Is Your School Asking the Right Questions About Poverty?

    Leading underachieving students in poverty to success involves asking the right questions, finding the leverage points, deploying resources effectively, optimizing time, and sharing data effectively.
  • Education Equity

    How Do We Talk About Poverty in Schools?

    Poverty affects students' state of mind, and educators must be sensitive of the terms commonly used when discussing children and families living in poverty.

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George Lucas Educational Foundation