Lt. Governor Dan Forest announces creation of Hispanic Education Outreach Taskforce
Over the next three months, Lt. Governor Dan Forest will lead a task force with the goal of devising a strategy to increase Hispanic awareness of school choice opportunities. The Hispanic student population has more than doubled in the last ten years, however their participation in school choice opportunities (by percentage) is at the bottom among all ethnicities. Earlier this year, it was reported by the Department of Public Instruction that Hispanic students are more than 50% less likely to attend a charter school. These same trends are also the same in other school choice options. This low participation in school choice is not just an issue for Hispanics in North Carolina, but trends nationwide. Other states have been proactive in addressing this discrepancy, and this task force is set out to do the same here in North Carolina.
The Task Force is scheduled to meet throughout the summer, and will present their findings and recommendations at the beginning of next school year at the State Board of Education’s September meeting.
“It is my hope to provide a strategy for our General Assembly, Department of Public Instruction, and the State Board of Education that will increase Hispanic awareness for all educational choice options afforded to North Carolina students,” Lt. Governor Dan Forest.
Task Force members cover a wide array of experience, knowledge, and expertise including State Board of education members, parents, educators, ESL experts, leaders in the Hispanic community, charter school advocates, policy analysts, and business leaders. They are:
- Julio Fuentes - President and CEO of Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options
- Becky Taylor - State Board of Education Member, Chairwoman of Charter School Committee
- Darrell Allison - President of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina
- Mary Lopez Carter - Adviser on the Governor’s Council on Hispanic/Latino Affairs, and small business owner
- Edgar Agosto - Civil Engineer
- Barb Wilder - Spanish language North Carolina Public School Teacher
- Lisa Vasquez - Director of Amigos International
- Dr. Rosemary Stein - Pediatrician and early childhood specialist
- Lisa Huddleston - Principal Raleigh Charter High School
- Griselda Canjura - Latin Chamber of Commerce & Latin American Coalition member
- Julia Garza - WYMY Program Director
- Leo Guerrero - Associate Pastor of Fuquay Varina Baptist Church
The Task Force is slated to meet officially after Memorial Day. Updates throughout the process will be posted on the Lt. Governor’s website.