ASU report shines light on funding inequity for Latino K-12 students.
‘State of Latino Arizona’ shows high-need population at a disadvantage
Latino students make up the largest racial and ethnic group in Arizona’s public schools but are at an educational and funding disadvantage, according to a new report authored by an Arizona State University professor.
“State of Latino Arizona: Sparking a Community Conversation About School Funding” was written by David Garcia, an assistant professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, along with Anabel Aportela, director of research and evaluation for the Center for Student Achievement. The project was sponsored by ASU, the Arizona Community Foundation, APS and the Phoenix IDA. The report was released Thursday, Oct. 6.
The report is the newest in a series of ASU’s “State of Arizona” projects, with others focusing on Native American, Asian-American, Black and Latino populations in Arizona over the past decade. The most recent Latino report was released in 2009 and analyzed demographic trends.
The new report includes commentary from community leaders. ASU President Michael M. Crow wrote that the state must focus its energy on educational attainment for all.
“Without a cohesive, comprehensive strategy to close the Latino education gap, and the abandonment of ill-conceived education funding strategies that disproportionately affect the Latino community, Arizona risks a future of stagnant average incomes, diminished purchasing power, greater unemployment and poverty, increased demand for public assistance and an uncompetitive economy,” Crow wrote.
The report analyzes how Arizona’s complicated formula affects districts with high numbers of Latino students. Over the past several years, funding has shifted from state to local sources, primarily to bonds and overrides, in which voters agree to temporarily raise their taxes to funnel more money to schools. But districts with high Latino enrollment typically have lower property values, hindering their capacity to raise more money.
“Asking parents to donate $400 to help fund field trips or extracurricular activities is asking them to default on their rent or electricity bill, or forgo weekly groceries,” wrote Marci Higuera Koke, principal at I.G. Conchos Elementary School in Phoenix.
To read more about the “State of Latino Arizona” report, visit ASU Now.
You can access the full report here.