According to officials with Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), a majority of Spanish-speaking students who enrolled at MPS in the last year are “new-to-country.”
In a Monday morning press statement, MPS announced four orientation seminars for Spanish-speaking students and their families. Those seminars will take place at different schools throughout the district over the next several weeks.
“Minneapolis Public Schools is excited and proud to be the district of choice for new Spanish-speaking families,” said MPS Director of Engagement Edgar Alfonzo.
Further, Alfonzo said, “We encourage families new to the district or country to attend one of the orientation sessions and find the school that’s near them, and discover all the ways MPS is making school a welcoming place where all children can succeed.”
Given the school district’s specific acknowledgement regarding families who are new to the country, Alpha News reached out to MPS to determine the number of newly enrolled Spanish-speaking students who are new to the United States.
MPS responded saying, “In the past 12 months MPS has enrolled approximately 2500 Spanish speakers in the district. These students are not necessarily new-to-country but the majority are.”
This announcement by MPS comes on the heels of an endless illegal immigration crisis at the United States’ southern border. With massive amounts of illegal immigrants pouring into the United States every day, cities and states across the country have become overwhelmed with migrants.
As Alpha News recently reported, Minnesota’s only immigration court has a record-breaking backlog of cases. From 2020 to 2023, the number of backlogged cases increased by over 126%.
According to U.S. News and World Report, only 39% of high school students enrolled at MPS are proficient in reading. The reading proficiency rates for middle school and elementary school students in the district are even lower. Meanwhile, only 23% of high school students enrolled at MPS are proficient in math.
Minneapolis Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state. With over 30,000 students enrolled across its various elementary, middle, and high schools, MPS spends over $19,000 per student every year.
In contrast, Anoka-Hennepin, the state’s largest school district, spends a little over $13,000 per student every year. Despite spending significantly less per student than MPS, over 60% of high school students in Anoka-Hennepin are proficient in reading. Additionally, the math and reading proficiency rates at Anoka-Hennepin are all higher than those at MPS across elementary, middle, and high school.
The school district data referenced in this article is provided by U.S. News and World Report.