Posted on May 21, 2024

Suburban Schools Becoming Less White, More Latino

Russell Contreras, Axios, May 17, 2024

Suburban schools are seeing dramatic surges in segregation as white enrollments fall and Latino enrollments jump, according to two reports and an Axios review of federal data.


By the numbers: During the past decade, the nation’s 25 largest suburban areas saw the number of intensely segregated school districts — defined as districts that are 90%-100% nonwhite students — double, according to a UCLA Civil Rights Project report.

  • From 2010 to 2020, the share of Black and Latino intensely segregated school districts rose to 10%, the report found.
  • In 2020, about 7% of suburban districts were 90% to 100% white, a decline from 18% in 2010.
  • The typical Black and Latino student in the suburbs attended a school in a district that was just 25% white, the report said.

Zoom in: About 30% of the nation’s entire public school enrollment is in those largest 25 suburban areas.

  • In 10 years, those suburban schools saw a steep drop of about 850,000 white students and more than 1 million new Latino students, a shift reflecting how Latinos are one of the nation’s fast-growing ethnicities.

An Axios review of schools in the suburbs using the Educational Opportunity Project at Stanford University tool found an even more dramatic rise in segregation since 1991.

  • In 1991, McCoy Elementary in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch school system northwest of Dallas had an enrollment that was 84% white, 5% Black and 4% Latino.
  • In 2022, its enrollment was less than 19% white, with 75% students of color.
  • Eisenhower High School in Houston — which then-President George H.W. Bush praised for its diversity — was 31% white, 41% Black, 18% Latino and 11% Asian American in 1991.
  • Today, Eisenhower is 1% white and 98% students of color, mainly Latino.