For the first time in U.S. history, minority students will surpass non-Hispanic whites in public schools. According to Associated Press, the growth of the Latino population in America fueled the shift.
The site reports that non-Hispanic white students will remain the largest racial group in public schools at 49.8 percent. However, minority students combined will now make up the majority, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Hispanic youth make up about 25 percent of minority students, while black students comprise 15 percent and Asian and Pacific Islanders comprise another five percent. Biracial students and Native American students also make up a small share of the minority student population.
The shift at America's school reflects a broader population trend. The Census Bureau estimates that the minority population will surprass the white population in 2043, and Pew Research found that nearly 52 million Hispanics live in the United States today. While Mexicans make up two-thirds of the Hispanic population, large numbers of Latinos with origins in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Colombia also call the U.S. their home.
AP notes that despite the dramatic demographic shift, schools have become more racially divided. Latino and Native American children attend failing schools at higher rates than non-Hispanic white students, and they face harsher discipline in school. Later in life, they have lower standarized test scores, and graduate at lower rates.
The National Education Association also notes a severe diversity gap among public school teachers. Non-Hispanic white teachers comprise 82 percent of the 3.3. million public school teachers in the United States, while Hispanic teachers comprise just eight percent. African-Americans constitute seven percent, and Asians hold two percent of positions.
For more information on the report, see Associated Press. What are your thoughts?