Tucson Hispanic Chamber hosting state of education luncheon - Tucson News Now

Tucson Hispanic Chamber hosting state of education luncheon

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Tucson Hispanic Chamber will be holding a luncheon today to discuss the state of Hispanic Education in Pima County and across the state.

Several educational leaders are expected to speak at the Tucson Sheraton near Grant and Rosemont.  The luncheon starts at 11:30 a.m.

Under discussion will be graduation rates, retention rates and what else can be done to address the needs of Hispanic students.

"Though we've had some progress over the last couple of years, we're still very concerned about the Hispanic high school dropout rate," said Lea Marquez Peterson, President/CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber.  "In recent years, in 2008, it's dropped to 14 percent which is great but the Caucasian rate is five percent, so as the Hispanic community grows where a majority of Pima County, we're growing our future workforce also and there are concerns we need an educated and prepared workforce."

More than half of the population under the age of 18 is Hispanic, which means 44 percent of the students in kindergarten through 12th grade are Hispanic, this is according to data collected in 2012. 

TUSD Superintendent H.T. Sanchez is expected to address the power of being bilingual, this falls in line with the district's recent declaration designating itself as 'immigrant friendly.'

Pima County Community College Chancellor Lee Lambert is also scheduled to speak about Hispanic enrollment at the college.  Also expected to speak will be U of A Associate Vice President.

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