Date of Award





Doctor of Education

Degree Type



Counseling, Foundations & Leadership

First Advisor

Jan Burcham

Second Advisor

Saoussan Maarouf

Third Advisor

Megan Hallissey


Students who live in poverty are at a disadvantage when entering school, have a higher chance of reading below grade level, and often have high absenteeism rates. Some students who reside in poverty lack ongoing interactions with others where they can express themselves and increase their vocabulary. Many times, students who live in poverty are associated with single parent homes and a lack of resources. Parents are in survival mode; meaning parents must focus on paying the bills and keeping food on the table rather than being actively involved in their students’ education. Previous studies have provided information on how parental involvement, or lack thereof, can impact students’ reading achievement and attendance. Research has shown a connection between parental involvement, reading achievement, and attendance. The current study will explore the relationship between low-income parents’ perceptions of their school involvement and their students’ Lexile levels and attendance at a Title I middle school to ensure low-income students have the greatest chance of overcoming the implications of living in poverty. This study is unique because it investigates the perceptions of parents, rather than parent involvement as in previous studies. The researcher will use a Likert scale survey to survey low-income parents of students who attend Susie Dasher Middle School (pseudonym).