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ICHA says Hispanic community could be disproportionately affected this school year

Posted at 8:35 PM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 22:35:57-04

MAGIC VALLEY — The Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs says there are some challenges in reaching the Hispanic and Latino community and giving them the information they need to send their kids back to school. They worry this may lead to them being disproportionately affected this school year.

"Some of our Latino families right now you know they're panicking they have multiple children in multiple schools and are really worried about how they are going to make it work for their children to get the education that they need," Margie Gonzalez, Executive director of the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, said.

ICHA says some of the challenges they face are because some Hispanic and Latino families may not have access to the internet, and if they were to receive an email, they might not comprehend what is being said.

"Even if the state decides to put out instruments to families, let's say they give them an iPad or some type of instrument, they still have to have access to the internet to do virtual or online," Gonzalez said.

Because of the language barrier, some of these parents may not be able to answer questions their children may have about their homework or get their children the support they need, which could lead to the student falling behind.

"How many of us can help our students anymore with their homework? It goes over the top sometimes when parents aren't able to comprehend what children are bringing home from school," Gonzalez said.

And they say these challenges can lead to Hispanic and Latino being disproportionately affected academically.

"Our Hispanic student population has been behind, has lagged behind for many many years. This is definitely is going to, whether we want to believe it or not, is going to take a toll on our communities of color, especially those that are monolingual, whether it be Spanish or any other language," Gonzalez said.

The Idaho State Department of Education recommends Hispanic and Latino parents communicate with their child's school district to make sure they get the support they need.