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.
– “Minority Student Population in Illinois Schools to Surpass White Students,” Chicago Tribune.
The Hispanic student population is soaring in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, where Hispanics are fueling much of the record jump in enrollment this year.
According to the Las Vegas Sun, the student enrollment increased this year by 3,707 students to 315,087 total students. The growth exceeded the district’s expectations.
About 44 percent of Clark County students are Hispanic, while 29 percent are white.
The district is struggling with the growth, and its elementary schools in particular are overenrolled and crowded. Some 30,000 elementary school children attend school in portables. Despite the dire situation, voters in November rejected a tax initiative that would have funded renovations, two new elementary schools and other upgrades.
The Sun reports that three district elementary schools have more than 1,200 students enrolled. Those schools are now operating year-round, so that not all the students are attending at the same time.
Nevada faces significant challenges in its education system. This year, the annual 2013 Kids Count Report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation rated the state last in the nation in education for the second year in a row.
– “Clark County School District Enrollment Grows, With Hispanics Leading the Trend,” Las Vegas Review-Journal.
– “Record Number of Students Packing Clark County Schools,” Las Vegas Sun News.
– Clark County School District