Racial And Immigrant Composition Of Public Schools Essay

1447 Words Dec 19th, 2016 6 Pages
In the past three decades, the United States has experienced a fundamental shift in immigration policy, with a rise in the number of new immigrants and major changes in their countries of origin. These immigrants, primarily from Asian and Latin American countries, have a profound impact on the ethnic, racial and immigrant composition of public schools in many major US cities. Immigration induces “native flight,” especially among white natives, from public schools into private schools, thus altering the ethnic, racial and immigrant composition of public schools. The less affluent students of color who remain in the public school system face debilitating repercussions to their livelihoods and quality of life if the number of native born schoolchildren who opt to attend private instead of public schools in response to immigration continues to increase.
The decline in white enrollment in Los Angeles and other major metropolitan public school districts is due to the increased rate at which native white schoolchildren attend private schools. Census data indicates that native born, non Hispanic whites represented slightly less than 50 percent of all public school students in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in 1980. By 1990, this number dropped to 34 percent. Several studies also examine whether the racial makeup of the local population influences the choice between private and public school (Conlon and Kimenyi; Fairlie and Resch). These studies generally find evidence of “white…

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