Hispanics Are Now One Out of Every Five K-12 Students

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that Hispanics now make up about one-fifth of all K-12 students. In addition, one-fourth of the nation’s kindergartners are Hispanic.

This ethnic shift in school enrollment are most evident in the West. States such as Arizona, California, New Mexico and Nevada are seeing an influx of Hispanics due to immigration and higher birth rates. Minority students in that region exceed non-Hispanic whites at the pre-college grade levels, with about 37% of the students Hispanic. Hispanics make up 54% of the students in New Mexico, 47% in California, 44% in Texas and 40% in Arizona.

In 2007, more than 40% of all students in K-12 were minorities — Hispanics, Blacks, Asian-Americans and others. That’s double the percentage of three decades ago.

In colleges, Hispanics made up 12% of full-time undergraduate and graduate students, 2% more than in 2006. Still, that is short of Hispanics’ 15% representation in the total U.S. population.

Minorities are projected to become the majority of the overall U.S. population by 2042. For minority kids, that shift is seen coming in 2023, seven years earlier than the previous estimate, from 2004. The accelerated timetable is due to immigration among Hispanics and Asians, and declining birth rates among non-Hispanic whites.

Other released data include:

More Hispanic kindergartners in 2007 were U.S.-born than foreign-born, assuring them of citizenship that will make them eligible to vote by 2020.

About 58% of children enrolled in grades K-12 are non-Hispanic whites, a group that represents 66% of the U.S. population. After Hispanics, Blacks were the second-largest minority group enrolled in K-12 (15 percent), followed by Asians (4 percent).

Fifty-three percent of Hispanic 4-year-olds were enrolled in nursery school, compared with 43% in 1997 and 21% in 1987.

1. What are the implications of the results of this survey?
2. What can be done to prepare these students who have difficulty with learning subject material as well as the language?
3. How do we get the parents of these students involved in the schools?
4. How do we improve the system when the majority of the students will be from minority households?