Disparate Impact on Immigrant and Latino/a Students in Texas: Unequal Funding, School Closures, and Dropout Status
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Educational trends illustrate that the academic performance of immigrants exceeds their co-ethnic and native-born counterparts. For example, when examining cognitive test scores of Mexican-origin students by generational status the highest achievements belong to firstgeneration (i.e., immigrants) students, followed by second-generation (i.e., students with one or two immigrant parents), and lastly third (i.e., native-born) and later generations, accounting for socioeconomic status, English proficiency, and institutional factors (Morales & Saenz, 2007). Indeed, if the Mexican-origin population resembled (non-Hispanic) whites in terms of generational status the white-Mexican educational gap would widen (Morales & Saenz, 2007). Even though the immigrant population has demonstrated that they can exceed academically there are several structural factors working against their educational integration. Below we discuss the disparate impact of unequal funding and school closures that disproportionately impacts marginalized populations such as immigrant students, institutional decision-making encouraging the "pushing out" of immigrants from the educational system, and we use census data to show the high percentages of immigrants represented among people between the ages 16 to 24 who dropped out status in Texas.