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In schools, a peek at Texas' future

Nearly half of students Hispanic as population increases, TEA says
If you want to see how profoundly the state's population is changing, look at the faces of the children in Texas public school classrooms.  In all but rural areas, Hispanic enrollment is rapidly surpassing that of whites. Hispanic schoolchildren make up nearly 49 percent of Texas' 4.8 million pre-K through 12th-grade students, according to the Texas Education Agency. About one-third of students are white.
 
Demographers have long projected dramatic population changes for Texas, and the state's leaders have acknowledged the economic, social and political impact they will have — but hardly ever in the present tense. Now, they must confront the realization that the state is not adequately funding the education of a growing population that is generally poorer and less proficient in English.

“We were warned about this,” said Senate Education Chairwoman Florence Shapiro, R-Plano. “You look at the future, but you don't think it's going to be now.”

Across Texas, 349 districts are majority Hispanic, 18 more than last year and 104 more than in 2000. Texas has 670 white majority school districts, down 97 from a decade ago.
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