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California Today, Texas Tomorrow?

2 min read

California Today, Texas Tomorrow?

“If you want to see how profoundly the state’s population is changing, look at the faces of the children in Texas public school classrooms. In all but rural areas, Hispanic enrollment is rapidly surpassing that of whites. Hispanic schoolchildren make up nearly 49 percent of Texas’ 4.8 million pre-K through 12th-grade students, according to the Texas Education Agency. … Now, they must confront the realization that the state is not adequately funding education of a growing population that is generally poorer and less proficient in English. … The shift appears to be driven by birth rates and immigration, not simply ‘white flight’ to private schools. The gap grows every year and is wider in the early elemanetary school grades, where Hispanic children now make up a majority. … But the combination of high numbers of limited english-proficient students, even higher numbers of children from low-income families and persistently high dropout rates worry some educators and demogaphers. During the past decade, enrollment from low-income families has grown to 2.8 million, or nearly 59 percent of all students. The number of English-language learners has increased to nearly 816,000. … Manuel Rodriguez Jr, president of the Texas Mexican American School Board Association and a member of the Houston ISD board [said], ‘millions and millions have been spent on dropout prevention measuires, and it hasn’t changed the numbers.’ … Steve Murdock, now on the faculty of Rice University [said], ‘The demographics are very overpowering, and we

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