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Latino Daily News

Friday August 19, 2011

Latino Voter Poll:  Hispanics Aspire for Higher Education though Many Unable to Afford It

Latino Voter Poll:  Hispanics Aspire for Higher Education though Many Unable to Afford It

Photo: Latinos Aspire for Higher Education

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When it comes to their children’s education, Latino voters have clear and high aspirations: a new poll revealed that an overwhelming 96%—almost all—would like to see their kids earn a college degree, whether it is a bachelor’s, master’s or professional degree.

What is not so clear is whether these voters can achieve this, at least from the financial point of view, since 59% do not think they will be able to continue paying their children’s tuition if it increases again next year. And 40% thinks that in general, even today, it will be difficult to pay all the costs associated with having their children attend college.  These are some of the results of an impreMedia/Latino Decisions poll, the fourth in a series of six national polls exploring the opinions of the Latino group that has best integrated into American society: registered voters. This particular poll focused on the education issue.

“These results confirm that the stereotype many have about Latinos in this country, that they push their children to look for a job instead of studying, is nothing but a stereotype,” said Adrián Pantoja, an associate professor of political science at Pitzer College. “What happens is that aspirations are one thing and another are economic realities that at times prevent these dreams from coming true. This population is aware of the limitations.”

An interesting poll finding is that, when it comes to seeking solutions for problems related to education and the low high school graduation rate, Latino voters are not so attached to ideological solutions (read: liberal or conservative) and freely choose from both options, sometimes in contradictory ways.

For example, the poll revealed Latinos consider the participation of parents the most important or crucial issue in tackling education problems. Only 17% blamed the state, 10% the school district and 5% teachers. In fact, Latinos usually have a high opinion of their children’s schools and teachers. Of respondents, 73% think their children’s teachers are good or excellent, while 67% think the school their children attend is good or excellent.