Activists Push For Latino Students To Be Major Federal Funding Priority

Activists are pushing for more federal funding to boost Latino students in education, as they fall further behind their white peers.

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | Published

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Latino students

UnidosUS and Latino rights activists are demanding that Latino students need more federal funding. This is sparked by the fact that although Latino students made numerous gains throughout the past few decades, they have now fallen behind after the pandemic. Many minorities and low-income families are struggling with learning gaps and so the Department of Education is being pressured to spend even more money to combat these effects. 

UnidosUS is a progressive organization focused on building “equity” and dismantling “structural racism.” They claim that racism is everywhere in the system but often hard to recognize because it’s so complexly embedded. Despite this, they also acknowledge that the Latino high school dropout rate is at a record low, and the enrollment gap between Latino and white students is narrowing. In addition, Latinos are the largest ethnic group in the United States and Latinos are earning bachelor’s degrees more than ever before. 

It seems odd to claim that the system is singling out Latino students and holding them back when so many positive outcomes have been recorded through the very system that UnidosUS is decrying. It is also odd that they are focused on increasing pathways to citizenship if racism and systematic bias is so prominent. Why would Latino students wish to continue immigrating to the United States if it were so horribly “racist?”

The truth may reside in the fact that the system is failing all students at record rates. White students, black students, and even Asian students are also suffering through the current state of the public education system. During the pandemic, districts received records in relief funds, and many used those to insert identity politics into classrooms in an effort to further “equity” movements, yet disparities continue to grow.

Schools are suffering from record enrollment drops, a teachers shortage, and chronic absenteeism, yet UnidosUS expects the Department of Education to spend even more taxpayer dollars on bettering one group of students over others. Both California and Pennsylvania recently passed massive budget increases despite serving fewer students and producing more failures. While many progressives believe that funding is the heart of the problem, no amount of money has solved these issues and they are unlikely to offer a quick fix. The focus on race and division has not aided Latino students, black students, or Asian students. It has contributed to an increase in school violence, higher dropout rates, lower test scores, and an exodus from the public school system. 

Education alternatives have been sought by minorities in record numbers. Black, Asian, and Latino students are being homeschooled now more than ever. Parents and students are tired of watching public schools fail them despite budget increases. While UnidosUS and some activists claim that more funding is needed to aid Latino students, record amounts of funding has been pumped into the school system and even utilized to improve student “equity” to no avail. 

Latino students

While money talks, it doesn’t always translate into action or proper outcomes. As many hope for Latino students and students of all backgrounds to succeed, some groups are calling for more funding to be spent on specific students. Whether or not the Department of Education will respond, or more funding will actually improve student success rates remains to be seen.