What Dallas Needs to Do to Land the Next Amazon

When Amazon picked the locations for its new headquarters, the things Dallas had going for it, cost of living and a business-friendly climate, seemed to matter less than where the city fell short -- education and available workforce.

"It needs to be a wakeup call," said Mitchell Schnurman, business columnist for the Dallas Morning News.

Schnurman said Dallas is close to competing with "world-class" cities, but it lagged in education.

"There's still a significant gap when it comes to tech talent," Schnurman said. "I think there's another element that doesn't get enough attention; it's the quality of the training."

Schnurman points out the East Coast has Ivy League schools and more research universities. Texas also spends less on public education than most other states.

"So for a state as rich as Texas to rank 47th or 45th, that's just not good enough," Schnurman said. "And this is where it shows up."

At Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Dallas, students as young as kindergarten learn computer coding.

"That means they understand the terminology and technology," said school principal Marquetta Masters. "They understand they are not just consumers of this digital economy, but they are creators and innovators."

The school halls are lined with college banners, reminding students of the goal to further their education.

"I absolutely might have the next Bill Gates in this classroom," Masters said with a smile.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings pointed out that voters recently passed a tax to give Dallas schools more money, and that the state legislature should learn a lesson from the Amazon fail, and increase funding for education.

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