Sunday, January 05, 2014

Minority students make up new majority in Illinois public schools

The Chicago Tribune reports:
New enrollment numbers show that lllinois' public school system for the first time does not have a white majority, with Latino, black, Asian and other racial groups combined eclipsing white students across the state's classrooms.

Whites fell to 49.76 percent of the student body this school year, the new data show, a demographic tipping point that came after years of sliding white enrollment and a rise in Latino, Asian and multiracial students.

The black student population also has declined, but it still makes up almost 18 percent of the state's public school students.

The Illinois State Board of Education posted the fall enrollment figures online in December, but spokeswoman Mary Fergus cautioned that the numbers could change if districts make corrections in the coming months. Even a small change in the figures "could make all the difference," in whether minority students become the majority in Illinois schools, she said.