Racial mix of Glendale Unified stabilizing

Gary Moskowitz

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."

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