California’s Latino students among the most segregated in the country

More than half of Latino students in California attend “intensely segregated” K-12 schools, or those that have a white population of 10 percent or less, according to a new report by The Civil Rights Project at UCLA.

That figure of 51 percent is the second highest in the United States and well above western and national averages, according to “Segregating California’s Future: Inequality and its Alternative 60 Years After Brown v. Board of Education.” While African-American students were far more segregated here than Latinos during the civil rights era, Latino segregation has grown rapidly and is now “very high” as well.

Meanwhile, thirty-nine percent of blacks in the state attend schools with a white population of 10 percent or less.

“What we’ve seen for Latinos is an incredible increase in isolation from white and Asian students and an extremely high exposure to poverty,” said Gary Orfield, co-director of The Civil Rights Project at UCLA and co-author of the study. “We also see a significant exposure to linguistic segregation, which we call triple segregation (after race and income levels.) It’s gotten much worse.”

In fact, the state has seen a dramatic increase in the segregation of Latinos, who on average attended schools that were 54 percent white in 1970 but now attend schools that are about 84 percent nonwhite. Latinos here also have fewer white classmates than Latinos in any other state; the typical Latino student here attends a school whose population is just 15.6 percent white, the study found. Statewide, the proportion of K-12 schools that are “intensely segregated” has more than doubled from 15 percent in 1993-94 to 31 percent in 2012-13.

Read more in Brenda Gazzar’s story SEGREGATION.

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