The COVID-19 pandemic had a disproportionately negative impact on Latino students and their families in the U.S., according to a report from UnidosUS, a civil rights and advocacy organization.
“The encouraging progress Latino students have made makes clear their enormous potential," said UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía. "Yet, according to our report, the pandemic not only threatened that progress, but also revealed the continuing inequities of an education system that is not serving our students well. Our country has an urgent need and opportunity to correct this longstanding issue so that Latino students — and all students — can resume their progress toward achievement in school and the workplace and fulfill their potential as key players in America’s future well-being.”
The report, Latino Student Success: Advancing U.S. Educational Progress for All, was released as part of the 2022 UnidosUS Annual Conference. It describes the progress Latino students have made in education over the past 30 years and the different challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has either created or worsened for such students and English learners. It also offers policy recommendations to support student success, such as providing more equitable funding to support low-income students, engaging with families about education policies and resources, doubling the maximum federal Pell Grant, and increasing investments for retention and completion grants.
“Latino students are our nation’s future," said Murguía. "Too often, they are seen as a burden on schools, when in reality, they bring a multitude of abilities and assets — from multilingualism to navigating across cultures and their resilience for success and commitment to hard work. These students strengthen our schools and our country. We must invest in Latino students now so that we can lead the way toward an America where every child receives a good education.”