The Latino children of North Carolina represent the fastest growing segment of the state’s population, increasing 34% in the last three years, and yet are the most underserved. A study by Action for Children, a nonpartisan advocacy group, identified the issues negatively effecting this young population that have resulted in low-test performances, high drop out rates and low graduation rates. Visit the HSN Library for a complete copy of the study.
A key issue identified that has negatively impacted Hispanic youth is language and societal isolation from their peers. When these issues are not present Hispanic’s do well and at times on academic par with their American peers. Other issues include drugs in school and lack of a safe environment that result in truancy.
The group called for North Carolina to better serve this population by making several recommendations such as hiring more bilingual and culturally knowledgeable teachers. The study found that this youth segment’s cultural background serves it well with good health, high self-esteem, having at least one parent working and remaining engaged with their families.
Hispanics are a critical driving force in the North Carolina economy and many legislators are aware of this. In 2005-06, North Carolina’s rapidly growing Latino population contributed more than $9 billion to the state’s economy through purchases and taxes – more than 100 times the estimated net cost to the state budget for health care, education and corrections for Latinos.
“The bottom line is that Latino children are bringing a lot of strengths that North Carolina needs” concluded Action for Children