Latinos now a quarter of Oregon first-graders
PORTLAND — New state figures show that Latinos now make up a quarter of Oregon's first-grade enrollment, and the state has eight districts in which Latinos are a majority, according to new figures from the Oregon Department of Education.
Over the past four years, Latino enrollment in Oregon public schools has grown by 15,000 students, to 125,000, while white enrollment has dropped by nearly 16,000, to 364,000, The Oregonian reported in a story about the release Tuesday of the statistics.
Latinos make up a larger proportion of Oregon's youngest students than its high school population, which is 20 percent Latino.
Statewide, public school enrollment grew about half a percent this school year, to 567,000. But more than 40 percent of school districts shrank, including Beaverton, Eugene and Springfield.
Portland, the state's largest district by far, added more than 500 students, or a little more than 1 percent, to exceed the 47,000 mark. Beaverton, the third largest behind Salem-Keizer, shrank by 55 students to about 39,400.
North Clackamas schools grew by 20 students, to 17,000 and surpassed Eugene to become Oregon's fifth largest district.
Eugene schools shrank by about 150 students, or 1 percent, dipping below 16,900.
Bend-La Pine schools added more than 250 students. That put the central Oregon school district within striking range of surpassing Eugene as well.
Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com