School Rolls Grow By 3%

Education: Ethnic minorities account for most of the increase. Officials are scrambling to obtain more money and bilingual teachers to meet the challenge.

Driven by a substantial increase in the number of ethnic minorities, enrollment in Orange County’s public schools jumped 3% this school year, continuing a steady, decade-long climb that is testing the ability of the school system to meet new and growing demands.

Educational administrators say that the increasing number of students forces them to seek additional state funds for the development of more school sites and also requires more bilingual teachers in the classrooms.

“There certainly isn’t a bilingual teacher in Orange County out of work,” said Vergil Hettick, director of research and evaluation for the Santa Ana Unified School District. “We are strongly encouraging all of our teachers to go back and learn other languages to meet these demands.” According to the Orange County Department of Education, total enrollment in Orange County grew to 360,000 this school year from 350,000 in 1988-89.

The education department’s figures, released this week, show that minority groups make up 45% of the student population, compared to 41% last year. There are now about 12% more Latino students in the county than last year, along with 6% more Asians, 6% more Filipinos and 6% more blacks. White student enrollment decreased 3%, or 5,725 fewer students.

School districts in Santa Ana, Westminster and Garden Grove experienced the greatest enrollment increases.

“The increase of minority students is certainly a mirrored reflection of what’s happening throughout the county,” said William Gayk, senior analyst with the county administrative office. “The minority population has had a steady growth pattern for years in this area and is continuing to grow.”

Meanwhile, Gayk said, white families are moving to San Bernardino and Riverside counties in pursuit of affordable homes at the same time that the birthrate among whites is declining.

“In 1981, about 19,000 of 33,000 births were white. In 1988, only 20,000 out of 42,000 births were white,” he added.

In an effort to adapt to shifting demographics and a multitude of cultures, Santa Ana Unified, the county’s largest school district, is offering $1,000 incentives to teachers who receive bilingual credentials. Though the district also has the highest percentage of nonwhite students, ethnic minorities make up only 25% of the teaching staff, Hettick said.

“In every way possible, we are asking teachers to help and offering them reasons to do so,” Hettick said. “We are even sending recruiters out to most of the local colleges to seek out minority teaching students and also to encourage everyone at that point to learn another language.”

To accommodate its student overflow, Garden Grove Unified School District has added portable classrooms to several of its campuses and is considering reopening schools that were closed in recent years because of a decline in enrollment.

“What we are now getting is the overflow of the increased population from the Santa Ana district,” said Alan Trudell, public information officer for the district. “Right now, after a long decline in enrollment, we are bursting at the seams with students, particularly at the elementary level.” School administrators also express hope that this most recent increase in students will encourage the state to allocate much-needed funds for the building of additional schools.

“At any one time, we are in the process of planning the development of more schools,” Hettick said. “But you have to have the kids to show for it and we certainly do.”

SCHOOL DISTRICT RACIAL AND ETHNIC COMPOSITION COMPARISON

Minority-Student Enrollment Increases in Orange County

The following shows the ethnic breakdown of students in Orange County’s 27 school districts and compares enrollments of the current school year to last year’s. TOTAL ENROLLMENT: 2.7% AMERICAN INDIAN: -1.5%
ASIAN: 6.1%
PACIFIC ISLANDER: -2.1%
FILIPINO: 6.1%
LATINO: 13%
BLACK: 6.1%
WHITE: -2.8%

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICTS
American
Indian or
Alaskan Pacific
Districts Native Asian Islander Filipino Anaheim 1989 38 797 118 127
1988 10 858 91 103 Buena Park 1989 0 441 24 65
1988 14 395 39 54 Centralia 1989 13 668 23 138
1988 12 594 29 119 Cypress 1989 13 426 32 62
1988 25 380 32 67 Fountain Valley 1989 4 983 6 39
1988 2 897 23 30 Fullerton 1989 17 1,573 28 66
1988 12 1,495 21 70 Huntington Beach 1989 4 416 3 16
1988 5 429 0 12 La Habra 1989 1 133 19 7
1988 1 122 19 10 Magnolia 1989 20 452 46 83
1988 12 452 45 69 Ocean View 1989 64 971 15 48
1988 74 1,040 54 54 Savanna 1989 25 166 21 48
1988 21 142 25 49 Westminster 1989 92 1,741 122 46
1988 112 1,681 118 39

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICTS
Not of Latino Origin
Districts Latino Black White Total Anaheim 1989 7,699 408 4,797 13,984
1988 6,591 377 5,283 13,313 Buena Park 1989 1,470 204 1,852 4,056
1988 1,291 176 1,935 3,904 Centralia 1989 944 190 2,396 4,372
1988 770 157 2,526 4,207 Cypress 1989 588 117 2,461 3,699
1988 514 102 2,382 3,502 Fountain Valley 1989 445 55 4,304 5,836
1988 441 42 4,434 5,869 Fullerton 1989 3,135 247 5,408 10,474
1988 2,832 267 5,561 10,258 Huntington Beach 1989 481 63 4,429 5,412
1988 494 52 4,427 5,419 La Habra 1989 2,296 43 2,020 4,519
1988 2,145 40 2,090 4,427 Magnolia 1989 1,576 165 2,350 4,692
1988 1,248 170 2,485 4,481 Ocean View 1989 1,140 102 6,104 8,444
1988 951 107 6,079 8,359 Savanna 1989 457 46 1,061 1,824
1988 460 43 1,093 1,833 Westminster 1989 2,059 104 3,701 7,865
1988 1,596 111 3,742 7,399

HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICTS
American
Indian or
Alaskan Pacific
Districts Native Asian Islander Filipino Anaheim Union 1989 124 2,468 163 415
1988 120 2,480 132 391 Fullerton Joint Union 1989 17 1,470 19 105
1988 14 1,271 22 76 Huntington Beach Union 1989 829 2,470 85 124
1988 863 2,494 76 118

HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICTS
Not of Latino Origin
Districts Latino Black White Total Anaheim Union 1989 6,503 608 11,113 21,394
1988 5,643 511 11,865 21,142 Fullerton Joint Union 1989 4,405 178 5,878 12,072
1988 4,399 149 6,238 12,169 Huntington Beach Union 1989 1,409 114 9,002 14,033
1988 1,404 133 10,111 15,199

UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICTS
American
Indian or
Alaskan Pacific
Districts Native Asian Islander Filipino Brea-Olinda 1989 5 332 6 55
1988 9 280 1 39 Capistrano 1989 63 999 33 118
1988 27 794 27 88 Garden Grove 1989 136 9,083 390 268
1988 186 8,418 414 261 Irvine 1989 22 3,529 24 158
1988 22 3,213 11 166 Laguna Beach 1989 4 57 1 9
1988 2 22 2 5 Los Alamitos 1989 8 359 66 117
1988 9 333 52 95 Newport-Mesa 1989 5 1,300 6 93
1988 7 1,328 10 98 Orange 1989 72 2,657 70 178
1988 66 2,564 67 145 Placentia * 1989 74 1,653 19 155 Placentia * 1988 43 1,439 17 109 Yorba Linda * 1988 2 77 0 0 Saddleback Valley 1989 32 1,978 62 197
1988 24 1,714 57 162 Santa Ana 1989 14 3,438 183 141
1988 22 3,444 234 135 Tustin 1989 42 1,107 31 188
1988 53 1,001 40 182 County Operated 1989 11 186 29 20
1988 6 107 22 8 County Totals 1989 1,749 41,853 1,644 3,086
1988 1,775 39,464 1,680 2,754

UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICTS
Not of Latino Origin
Districts Latino Black White Total Brea-Olinda 1989 782 63 3,458 4,701
1988 707 72 3,440 4,548 Capistrano 1989 2,759 221 20,659 24,852
1988 2,282 218 20,037 23,473 Garden Grove 1989 11,829 561 14,458 36,725
1988 10,645 526 15,714 36,164 Irvine 1989 1,091 552 14,928 20,304
1988 1,043 495 14,978 19,928 Laguna Beach 1989 132 19 1,819 2,041
1988 103 23 1,911 2,068 Los Alamitos 1989 516 170 4,958 6,194
1988 464 145 4,951 6,049 Newport-Mesa 1989 3,150 144 11,387 16,085
1988 2,691 140 11,768 16,042 Orange 1989 5,806 419 15,416 24,618
1988 4,928 402 16,309 24,481 Placentia * 1989 4,231 387 14,697 21,216 Placentia * 1988 3,773 355 13,147 18,883 Yorba Linda * 1988 192 13 1,496 1,780 Saddleback Valley 1989 1,899 379 19,589 24,136
1988 1,625 327 19,241 23,150 Santa Ana 1989 34,718 867 3,484 42,845
1988 31,279 999 3,915 40,028 Tustin 1989 2,053 575 6,559 10,555
1988 1,445 502 6,929 10,152 County Operated 1989 1,474 190 1,492 3,402
1988 993 122 1,418 2,676 County Totals 1989 105,047 7,191 199,780 360,350
1988 92,949 6,776 205,505 350,903

* Yorba Linda School District merged into Placentia District in Fall of 1989.

Source: Orange County Department of Education, “Racial and Ethnic Survey-Fall 1989″



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