For the first time ever schools in the south have enrolled more minority students than white students, according to a report from the Southern Education Foundation.
Oklahoma schools are not quite minority majority yet. According to the report, 43. 8 percent of students enrolled in public schools were minorities, which means any race other than white.
The report also noted that “in Oklahoma one in five students is Native American – the third highest percentage among states.”
“This transformation establishes an important landmark in American diversity and a historic milestone for the only section of the United States where racial slavery, White supremacy and racial segregation of schools were enforced through law and social custom for more than two thirds of the nation’s history,” said Lynn Huntley, president of the Southern Education Foundation in a media release.
The report calls for “fundamental changes” in education to better serve all students regardless of income status or race.
White students are still the largest demographic of students accounting for 49 percent of those enrolled in Southern schools, while black students account for 27 percent and Hispanic students 20 percent, according to the report. Asian Pacific students and Native Americans account for the other 4 percent.
Oklahoma was noted in the report for having a high level of poverty among students with more than 55 percent of students reported as low-income students.
In 2007 the Southern Education Foundation reported that a majority of students in the South were eligible for free and reduced lunches – an indicator of poverty.