- Los Angeles Unified School District
Los Angeles Unified Expands Demographic Options On Student Enrollment Form (09-15-20)
For Immediate Release September 15, 2020
Contact: Jennifer Valdivia
(818) 312-4777 or email@example.com
Los Angeles Unified Expands Demographic Options
On Student Enrollment Form
LOS ANGELES (September 15, 2020) – Los Angeles Unified is expanding the demographic options on its enrollment form as part of an effort to better support the unique needs of students in one of the nation’s most diverse school districts.
The new student enrollment form lists 226 choices for race, ethnicity and cultural heritage. Families can designate up to five options when their child enrolls or changes schools in Los Angeles Unified. The data will be collected, disaggregated and analyzed to help identify disparities and determine how to allocate resources.
“This additional information will help us better support the unique needs of each student,” said Superintendent Austin Beutner.
The Board of Education adopted a resolution last year renewing their commitment to protect and advance the rights of students and employees of color by increasing equity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) and Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities. More than 85,000 students of AANHPI AMEMSA background are enrolled in Los Angeles Unified, about 18% of the total student population.
Los Angeles Unified students come from families who speak more than 100 languages and dialects, in addition to English.
"With its new enrollment form, L.A. Unified is affirming to students that their racial, ethnic, and cultural identities matter,” said Board Member Mónica García. "Ensuring everyone counts is crucial to delivering personalized services that will only increase our ability to reach 100% graduation. I am proud to celebrate this effort with District staff and AANHPI AMEMSA community groups who have collaborated over the past year to make data disaggregation a reality in the second largest school district in the country."
“I was proud to co-sponsor this important resolution and I’m glad to see it come to fruition,” said Board Member Nick Melvoin. “Updating the student enrollment form and disaggregating data by ethnicity will allow us to better embrace our diverse student populations. And in recognizing the diversity within our population, we will be able to take meaningful action to better support and improve outcomes for AANHPI AMEMSA students.”
"This is a monumental step to celebrate and support our communities and students' cultural, ethnicity and heritage that cannot be summed up in six categories used for race," said Chief Academic Officer Alison Yoshimoto-Towery. "For our students and families, celebrating our unique cultures begin with being recognized, seen, and valued upon enrollment."
“2020’s spotlight on social injustice further demonstrates the need to identify, recognize, and serve BIPOC communities for their unique needs. That process begins by ensuring we have accurate data on who we serve, which Los Angeles Unified can accomplish with its new enrollment forms,” said Andrew Murphy of Teach For America-Los Angeles and a community member of the Los Angeles Unified AANHPI AMEMSA Steering Committee for Educational Equity. “With stronger information, we can disaggregate data and find systemic shortcomings that will pave the path to increased educational equity.”
"By expanding the Los Angeles Unified enrollment process, we hope to see that each diverse student is accounted for and has fair access to potential resources that are critical for success,” said Eunice Hur Song, Executive Director of the Korean American Coalition and a community member of the Los Angeles Unified AANHPI AMEMSA Steering Committee for Educational Equity. “Identifying the students and their needs are but the first step in improving the quality of education and support each student deserves."
"It may be simple, but data disaggregation is the first step towards true education equity,” said Donna Tang of Asian Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles and a community member of the Los Angeles Unified AANHPI AMEMSA Steering Committee for Educational Equity. "When students are counted and seen, we can identify the gaps of inequity in our school systems. Every culture, language, and individual deserves to be recognized. With Los Angeles Unified being one of the most diverse school districts in the nation, I am happy to see us take this step forward."