Local educators not surprised by new Hispanic majority in state’s schools
By Tracy Garcia, Staff Writer
Hispanics may have only recently become the official majority in California’s public school classrooms, but San Gabriel Valley and Whittier area schools have been watching that population shift take place for several years now.
And although some are now calling on school leaders to focus on these students to improve their chances of success in college or the workplace, area educators say they’ll keep working to get all students to the finish line – regardless of ethnicity.
“I think it’s always important to know who you’re teaching, as far as where they’re coming from and their background,” said Pasadena Unified School District board President Bob Harrison.
About 58 percent of PUSD’s 20,000-student enrollment in 2009-10 was Hispanic, according to state statistics.
That’s compared to the nearly 51 percent – or about 3.1 million – of California students who identified themselves as Hispanic in the 2009-10 school year, as reported by the California Department of Education last month.
By contrast, Hispanics made up about 37 percent of the state’s public school enrollment in the 1994-95 school year.