Latino and other minority children are now almost half of all K-12 schoolchildren, and by 2060 Latinos will be almost 33 percent of all Americans, according to the latest Census report. Latinos are now the majority of students in Texas and California.
Latina and University of Maryland government and politics professor Stella Rouse believes lawmakers need to focus on Latino’s education as a pressing issue, according to a recent NBCLatino.com article.
“We have been talking about politics and immigration, but education needs to be our number one priority. I think the mindset of politicians has not shifted to match the focus of where the demographics are going,” Rouse said. “Either we are not going to put the resources in to educate our children and not compete in the global market, or we will come to our senses to achieve a competitive, multicultural society.”
Focus needs to be redirected, she contends. For example, California spends about 10 percent of its budget on jails and higher education is below 8 percent. Rouse argues that Latinos should use their power in numbers to push for great reallocation of resources.
“When political strength is fractionalized, people can ignore us. I worry from a research standpoint if we stay reactive, and not proactive minorities are becoming majorities in a 30 years from now, that’s not a lot of time when you think how slowly policy changes,” she said.