David Verdugo: California Must Support Its Latino Students

On Wednesday, for EdSource, executive director of the California Latino Superintendents Association David Verdugo explained why he believes that now, more than ever, California needs to support its Latino students in order to increase the number of Latino high school graduates ready to enter college and career. According to Verdugo, Latino students face entrenched, systematic challenges; for example, Latino youth are less likely to enroll in preschool and a greater percentage of Latino students than their non-Latino peers live in poverty.

These challenges need to be addressed, and Verdugo proposed several strategies to do so. “We need more Latino and Latina superintendents to lead our school districts. There is a growing understanding that leaders of the same background and race as their students can foster increased engagement, confidence, trust, relationships, and comfort. They understand their community, the barriers Latinos face, and many of the supports they need.”

At Students Matter, we believe that every student — regardless of background — deserves to have access to a quality public education. We must continue to support underserved communities and close the opportunity gap because California’s — and the nation’s — future success depends on the success of our students. And to enable their success, as Verdugo perfectly stated, “We must be champions of the idea that all students have a legal right to an education, regardless of any differences.”