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A new report from the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), using national data, found that the Latino high school graduation rate rose to 78% in 2013 compared to 2007. Toward A More Equitable Future: The Trends and Challenges Facing America’s Latino Children is a new report released by the NCLR which utilized nationally gathered data to shed light on the true state, good and bad, of Latino children in the United States.
“When people don’t want to do something, they hide behind data,” said Lori Kaplan, head of the Latin American Youth Center in Washington, D.C. at a recent news event announcing the report. “They say ‘show me the data.’ But smaller operations usually don’t have the resources to gather data to prove that what they know to be true through experience.”
At a recent panel announcing the release of the report, authors Patricia Foxen, Deputy Director of Research for the NCLR, and Marth Mather, the Associate Vice President of U.S. Programs at the Population Reference Bureau, discussed topics ranging from poverty, housing, health, education, and juvenile justice. A new web-based tool, the Latino Kids Data Explorer, was also unveiled.
In addition to the data uncovered about high school graduation rates, other promising signs were also pointed out by the data. The number of Latino children without insurance was cut virtually in half, in large part due to federal programs such as the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
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“[Every one of] the issues studied influences each other,” said Foxen at the press event. “Poverty can lead to poor nutrition, which can affect how well a student does in school. But community groups intervene so that growing up at a disadvantage doesn’t determine the rest of a child’s life. Demography isn’t destiny.”
Latino juvenile incarceration also dropped according to the data. There was 173 juvenile incarcerations for every 100,000 in 2013, a significant improvement from the 2006 rate of 309 for every 100,000 in 2006. This, however, is a much higher rate compared to white juveniles (170 for every 100,000 in 2006 and 101 in 2013).
During the panel, Kaplan pointed out that the data dispels many myths regarding the Latinos and the world they live and work in. One such myth dispelled was that 93% of all Latino youths are U.S. citizens
“We don’t need another study. We don’t need another task force,” Kaplan said. “We need to act on this data.”
Read the report here.
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By The Numbers
of Latinos remain without health insurance coverage