AZ Latinos still face many obstacles to higher ed

Cronkite News reported on the many obstacles Arizona Latinos face in obtaining higher education:

“What’s unusual is that here in Arizona we are experiencing changing demographics at an accelerated rate,” said Joseph Garcia, the director of the Latino Public Policy Center for Morrison Institute for Public Policy.

Arizona schools have seen an increase in enrollment of Latino students, he said, and must provide proper educational opportunities for the growing Latino population. The inherent problem, he said, is that many schools with high Latino enrollment are not adequately funded.

While the nation’s educational progress for Latino students has improved, Arizona has lagged, Garcia said.

In Arizona, the Latino graduation rate has been almost flat from 2011 to 2015. It moved up from 72.2 percent to 72.3 percent.

“The idea of college is not in their [Latinos] environment or in their neighborhoods – it’s not in their plan,” Garcia said. “There are a lot of obstacles that are built into that first generation of Latinos who are seeking college that they have to overcome.”

READ: Arizona Latina struggles to balance education, family