A Profile of Hispanic Public School Students
The number of Hispanic students in the nation’s public schools nearly doubled from 1990 to 2006, accounting for 60% of the total growth in public school enrollments over that period. There are now approximately 10 million Hispanic students in the nation’s public kindergartens and its elementary and high schools; they make up about one-in-five public school students in the United States. In 1990, just one-in-eight public school students were Hispanic.
- More than half (52%) of all Hispanic students are enrolled in public schools in just two states, Texas and California.
- The majority of Hispanic students are of Mexican origin (69%), followed by Puerto Rican (9%), Dominican (3%), Salvadoran (3%) and Cuban (2%).3
- More than a quarter of Hispanic students (28%) live in poverty, compared with 16% of non-Hispanic students. In comparison, more than a third of non-Hispanic black students (35%) reside in poverty and about one-in-ten (11%) non-Hispanic white students live in a poor household.
- A significant minority of Hispanic public school students (34%) have parents who have not completed high school. Fewer than one-in-ten (7%) non-Hispanic students have parents who have not finished high school.
- Seven-in-ten (70%) Hispanic students speak a language other than English at home.
- Almost 30% of Hispanic public school students report speaking only English at home, and an additional 52% of Hispanic public school students report speaking English “very well.” The remaining 18% of Hispanic students speak English with difficulty.4