The D.C. school-aged population doesn’t necessarily reflect the changing demographics of the city. Here are five facts about race, class and D.C. students from a new study commissioned by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education and conducted by nonprofit IFF:
The school-aged population is disproportionately black.
Although nearly half of D.C. residents are black, about 70 percent of school-aged children are black.
The Hispanic student population comes close to reflecting the larger Hispanic population.
While a little more than 9 percent of D.C. residents are Hispanic, about 11 percent of school-aged children are Hispanic.
Whites are more likely to opt out of public schools.
The District’s white population has grown in recent decades, but its school-aged population hasn’t kept pace. While about 35 percent of D.C. residents are white, only 14 percent of D.C. school-aged children are white. The study also noted that whites are more likely than their black peers to opt out of public education in favor of private schools; 9 percent of DCPS students are white.
Students are disproportionately poor.
A DCPS or charter student is more likely to be living in poverty than the average District resident. About two-thirds of DCPS and 75 percent of charter school students receive free or reduced lunches; to qualify, a family of four has to make $41,348 or less a year. Only about 30 percent of D.C. households fall into the same income category.
Well-performing schools are found everywhere.
There’s a higher concentration of top performing schools in wealthier parts of town west of Rock Creek Park, but such schools also exist in low-income communities, according to the study.