Latino students now make up slightly more than 24 percent of all public school students in Illinois, and are pushing the state’s schools toward becoming a majority-minority.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Illinois has almost reached the tipping point, with minority students making up 49.4 percent of all students. The growing number of Hispanic students in the suburbs, and now solely in the Chicago Public Schools, is also fueling the growth.
The shifts have prompted school districts to search for more bilingual teachers, providing bilingual documents, and offering GED classes to parents. Additionally, seminars about the American education system are offered to parents.
“There’s a need for school districts to respond to their growing demographic,” Sylvia Puente, executive director of the Chicago-based Latino Policy Forum, told the Tribune. “We want quality education for all our students. It’s incumbent on school districts to understand who their student population is.”
White and black students have dropped in their share of the student population, while Latino and Asian enrollment is increasing.