In response to President Obama's signing of an Executive Order to renew the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, Congressman Charles B. Rangel agreed that our nation should invest in the education of Hispanics if the United States were to meet President Obama's goal of becoming the world's top nation college completion by 2020.
"Empowering younger generations of Latino students, who represent 1 of every 5 students in our nation's public schools, will add to the significant contributions Hispanics have already made in building a prosperous America," said Congressman Rangel.
This renewal of the 20-year-old initiative reflects the Obama Administration's commitment to enhancing the education of Hispanic students, including reduction of the dropout rate, and improved connections between pre-K-12 and postsecondary education. The new Executive Order calls for the establishment of a presidential advisory commission on Hispanic education and a federal interagency working group on how to improve the education and lives of Latinos. The program also aims to support communities to share best practices in the education of Hispanic students and to strengthen public and private partnerships.
Formerly known as The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, the program's name has been changed to The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics to include children of undocumented immigrants who are faced with challenges when trying to attend college. Every year, approximately 65,000 undocumented students graduate high school with little chance of continuing their education due to their immigration status.
"To make our country more competitive around the world, we need to improve education for all students, and that includes all Hispanic students in America, not just Hispanic Americans," Rangel added. "Our nation needs a strong professional workforce to innovate and to keep America at the forefront of the international economy. With college education, Hispanics can contribute to those efforts."
As the fastest growing segment of the U.S. workforce, doubling the rate of Hispanics with a college degree (to only 18 percent) by 2010 would yield a $7.6 billion increase in tax revenue over the lifetime of these college graduates, and would generate at least $14 billion in disposable income for savings, investment and economic stimulus.
Currently, Latinos have the lowest high school and college completion rates of any racial or ethnic group in America, with only 51 percent of Hispanic students who start college completing a bachelor's degree in six years.