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Chapter 2: Characteristics of Schools

Indicator 6: Segregation and Poverty in Schools

Enrollment at high-poverty public schools was higher in school year 201011 for Black (41 percent), Hispanic (38 percent), and American Indian/Alaska Native students (31 percent) than it was for Pacific Islander (19 percent), Asian (15 percent), and White (6 percent) students.

In school year 201011, over 49 million students were enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools; 52 percent of these students were White, 16 percent were Black, 23 percent were Hispanic, 5 percent were Asian, less than 1 percent were Pacific Islander, 1 percent were American Indian/Alaska Native, and 2 percent were of two or more races. Examining the composition of public elementary and secondary schools in terms of racial/ethnic and poverty concentration provides a picture of the extent to which students in certain racial/ethnic groups may be racially and/or economically isolated.

Looking at enrollment patterns by students' race/ ethnicity, 84 percent of White students attended a predominantly White school (a school where at least 50 percent of the students were White), 46 percent of Black students attended a predominantly Black school, 56 percent of Hispanic students attended a predominantly Hispanic school, 12 percent of Asians attended a predominantly Asian school, 13 percent of Pacific Islander students attended a predominantly Pacific Islander school, and 23 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native students attended a predominantly American Indian/Alaska Native school. Racial/ethnic enrollment patterns classified by sex were similar to the overall racial/ethnic patterns outlined above.

Concerning school poverty, 24 percent of all students attended schools where 25 percent or fewer students were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch (hereafter low-poverty schools), 56 percent attended schools where between 26 and 75 percent of students were eligible, and 20 percent attended schools where more than 75 percent of students were eligible (hereafter high-poverty schools). Higher percentages of Asian students (39 percent), White students (33 percent), and students of two or more races (25 percent) attended a low-poverty school than did students in other racial/ethnic groups (between 9 and 14 percent). Conversely, higher percentages of Black (41 percent), Hispanic (38 percent), and American Indian/Alaska Native students (31 percent) attended a high-poverty school than did their peers who were Pacific Islander (19 percent), of two or more races (16 percent), Asian (15 percent), and White (6 percent). Racial/ethnic enrollment patterns classified by sex were similar to overall racial/ethnic patterns outlined above.


Figure 6-1 Percentage of White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native students in public elementary and secondary schools that enroll 50 percent or more students of their respective racial or ethnic group, by sex: School year 201011

Figure 6-2 Percentage of students in low- and high-poverty public elementary and secondary schools, by race/ ethnicity and sex: School year 201011

Table E-6-1 Percentage of public elementary and secondary school students enrolled in schools with 50 percent or more enrollment of specific racial/ethnic groups, by sex and race/ethnicity: 201011

Table E-6-2 Number and percentage of public elementary and secondary school students and percentage distribution of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, by sex and race/ethnicity: School year 201011


  
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