“Time to invest in Latino children”

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Had an interview/conversation yesterday with Sandra Lilley (She’s featured in my Twitter background photo) from NBCLatino. Her article Census shows it’s time to invest in Latino children, says experts discussed the growth of Latina/os in U.S. Schools:

By 2060 Latinos will be nearly one of every three Americans, according to the latest Census report released today.  As the immigration and globalization expert Marcelo Suarez-Orozco said to the Associated Press, “the fastest growing demographic is the children of immigrants.”  Even though immigration and birth rates have slowed down significantly, Latino and other minority children are now almost half of all schoolchildren k-12, and they are the majority of students in states like Texas and California.

My thoughts in the article:

“My mother always said to me show me how you are spending your money and I’ll show you your priorities,” says Julian Vasquez Heilig, Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Planning, at the University of Texas, at Austin.  ”Texas cut 5.4 billion dollars from their budget two years ago, yet the majority of growth in student population has been among Latino students,” says Dr. Heilig.  ”A lot of the policy solutions — like increased voucher schools, which reduce education funding by 50 percent and put more of the burden on churches, for example — don’t invest in our kids,” he says.

Florida has also cut funding, says Heilig, and though the state points to 4th grade scores which are better than in other states, “it’s how Latino children perform on the ACT and SAT’s, and whether they graduate from high school, that matters, and here, the numbers are low,” he says.

See also the Washington Post’s repost of my peek at the “Florida Miracle” entitled “Florida’s real school reform record” here.

Have a great day!

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Categories: Latina/os, School Finance, Vouchers

Author:Julian Vasquez Heilig

Julian Vasquez Heilig is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Planning and African and African Diaspora Studies (by courtesy) at the University of Texas at Austin.

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  1. Vouchers and School Finance: Saving the Statehouse $? | Cloaking Inequity - January 1, 2013

    [...] Considering that Texas cut $5.4 billion from education for the last biennium and was ranked 45th in the nation in per pupil funding for 2011-12 (Vasquez Heilig, Jez, & Reddick, 2012) it is clear that the legislature ranks education spending very low on their priority list. Some proponents frame vouchers as a productive and useful alternative to increasing education spending by the State. Although reduction in the cost of education is put forth as a potential benefit of voucher programs that benefit often accrues at the statehouse and not the community level. Dependent upon the level of funding sent to districts for example, the State derives large cost savings from vouchers. Given per pupil funding averages $9,000 in Texas, a State “savings” of approximately $4,000 would be achieved with a voucher of just $5,000. The actual cost of educating students in parochial/private schools therefore, is offloaded by the State to Catholics, Baptist, Seventh-Day Adventists, and other congregations (I also discussed this on NBCLatino here). [...]

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