Latina School Dropouts

The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) released a report “Listening to Latinas: Barriers to High School Graduation”.  The new report that takes a close look at the drop-out crisis in the Latino community. The latest data show that 41% of Latina students do not graduate on time with a standard high school diploma.

The study reveals that as Latinos work to provide for their families, education too often takes a back seat to survival. Often times Latina students must take on parental duties to either younger siblings, or, in a community with the highest teen pregnancy rate, their own children. Cultural stigmas contribute to low self-esteem and insecurities, allowing society to ignore Latina students who then trade-in the possibility of a future career, for a future predestined by bias, discrimination, and a lack of support.

The study offers some recommendations. The recommendations include calling on schools, policymakers, and government agencies to: invest in the future of Latino children through high-quality early learning programs, connect Latinas with role models, ensure that all students are prepared for post-secondary educational opportunities, ensure safe school environments that are culturally inclusive and free from discrimination, help Latino parents get involved in their children’s education, improve efforts to prevent teen pregnancy and provide support for pregnant and parenting students, and require better data collection and promote school accountability.