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Idaho's Hispanic Education Gap Shrinks

Idaho is starting to see the education gap narrow for Latino students. That's according to the state's Commission on Hispanic Affairs. Latinos are the fastest growing segment of Idaho’s school system.

The commission's director Margie Gonzalez told a legislative panel the days of double digit drop-out rates for Hispanic kids are gone. More Latinos are enrolling in college. And last month, a national assessment of vocabulary showed huge gains among Hispanic students in Idaho.

Gonzalez thinks efforts to get parents more involved in the classroom may be partially responsible. But she says Idaho still has a way's to go. Gonzalez says many schools are not equipped for their changing demographics.

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“We're lacking the bilingual, bicultural teachers in our schools. And in some schools, we have up to 40 to 50 percent Hispanic students enrolled.”

Gonzalez says the effects of closing the achievement gap in Idaho will show up later in the economy, as Latinos make up a larger part of the workforce.

On the Web:

Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs

Copyright 2013 Northwest News Network

Inland Northwest Correspondent Jessica Robinson reports from the Northwest News Network's bureau in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. From the politics of wolves to mining regulation to small town gay rights movements, Jessica covers the economic, demographic and environmental trends that are shaping places east of the Cascades.
Jessica Robinson
Jessica Robinson reported for four years from the Northwest News Network's bureau in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho as the network's Inland Northwest Correspondent. From the politics of wolves to mining regulation to small town gay rights movements, Jessica covered the economic, demographic and environmental trends that have shaped places east of the Cascades. Jessica left the Northwest News Network in 2015 for a move to Norway.