In the past few decades, Armenian, Asian and Hispanic students have
flooded into the Glendale Unified School District at a steady pace.
But a recent report shows that the trend has subsided, and has
been slowing down for several years.
"Probably for the last four years, there has been very little
difference in the ethnic makeup of the district," said Joanne Junge,
coordinator of English Language Learner support programs for the
Glendale Unified School District. "We think it has to do with the
decrease in immigration in recent years and the rise in housing
prices and rent in Glendale."
District officials recently released the 2003-04 Racial/Ethnic
Survey, which is required by the state and gives data on the
ethnicity of students districtwide and at each school site.
State education officials request ethnicity information for all
districts and prepare annual reports for the Legislature, the
governor and the California Department of Education.
When Glendale Unified applies for state grants and honors such as
the California Distinguished School Award, officials need ethnicity
data on each school to confirm background information about the types
of students that schools are serving.
According to the 2003-04 report, 6,431 minority students are
enrolled in local elementary schools, which is a decrease from 45.97%
last year to 45.60% this year.
Minority enrollment in middle schools this year is 2,160 students,
which was an increase from 41.85% last year to 42.45% this year.
Minority enrollment in high schools this year is 3,989, which was
an increase from 38.53% last year to 38.94% this year.
Districtwide, schools serve 12,580 minority students, which is a
slight increase from 42.7% last year to 42.74% this year.
Hispanic students make up 22.54% of the district, which is 6,634
students. Asian students make up 13.52% of the district, which is
3,978 students. The district has 1,492 Filipino students, 313
African-American students, 54 American Indian or Native Alaskan
students and 45 Pacific Islander students.
The district's largest contingent is Caucasian, which is 16,853
students. About 57.26% of the district is Caucasian, which is down
slightly from last year.
The Caucasian category includes students of Armenian and Middle
Eastern descent. The racial/ethnic survey does not make a distinction
between students of Armenian and Middle Eastern descent and other
types of Caucasian students, but annual language reports compiled by
the district do make a distinction.
Based on 2003 data, 10,213 out of about 29,000 Glendale public
school students speak Armenian as a primary language. Combined with
Armenian-American students whose primary language is English, those
students make up more than half of the Caucasian category, officials
"A few decades ago, we saw growth in Hispanic, Asian and Middle
Eastern enrollment, but that has stabilized, and now, we are seeing a
decline in enrollment districtwide," said Alice Petrossian, an
assistant superintendent for educational services for the district.
"It's hit its peak. Any number of issues can contribute."