Race: One part of equation in drawing new lines
As the Fayette County Board of Education prepares to consider closing some schools as a cost-cutting measure and redrawing attendance district lines, one of the known quantities that likely will enter into the final equation will be the racial makeup of each school’s student population.
Racial tallies required to be kept by public school systems show that the Fayette system features an overwhelmingly white instructional staff — upwards of 90 percent — teaching a student body that is increasingly minority — 43 percent of the total student population.
Three charts (attached below as pdf files) show the numbers for elementary, middle and high schools by individual school, reflecting numbers from May of this year. (Click on the two attachments at the end of this story to view the elementary, middle and high school charts.)
Figures maintained by the school system show black students represent nearly one of every four students attending Fayette public schools.
The raw data show the Fayette system with a student enrollment that is 56.2 percent white, 23.9 percent black, 8.8 percent Hispanic, 5.8 percent two or more races and 4.6 percent Asian.
The tally of certified staff such as teachers shows school staff at 88.1 percent white, 8.1 percent black and 1.9 percent Hispanic.
The schools’ racial makeup mirrors the county’s changes in diversity over the years. For example, in 1980, Fayette’s non-white population was 4.9 percent of the total, 7.5 percent in 1990 and 14.9 percent in 2000.
By the 2010 Census, Fayette’s non-white population registered 28.87 percent.
School systems across the United States routinely track a substantial amount of state and federally-required data. Portions of that data relate to racial and ethnic numbers of students and teachers.
To that end, The Citizen requested the ethnic and racial numbers from the Fayette County School System and compiled those figures to indicate that breakdown on a school-by-school and systemwide basis.
The figures provided by the Fayette County School System were tabulated at the end of the school year on May 25. The data reflects the ethnic and racial breakdown of students per school. Also provided is the breakdown for certified staff, such as teachers, in the elementary, middle and high school categories.
What follows is the report on the numbers reported by the school system to the state and federal governments.
Taken as a whole, the population of Fayette schools as of May 2012 totaled 20,385 students and was made up of 56.2 percent white students, 23.9 percent black students, 8.8 percent Hispanic, 5.8 percent of two or more races, 4.6 percent Asian, .5 percent Alaska Native and American Indian and .1 percent Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander.
The racial makeup of instructional staff is significantly different from that of the student population.
The same breakdown for certified school system employees such as school teachers shows 88.1 percent white, 8.1 percent black, 1.9 percent Hispanic, 1.2 percent representing two or more races, .4 percent Asian, .23 percent Alaska Native and American Indian and .06 percent Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander.
A further breakdown was accomplished looking at elementary schools, middle schools and high schools.
Across the county’s elementary schools, the demographics show the student population at 55.9 percent white, 22.9 percent black, 10.4 percent Hispanic, 5.1 percent Asian, 4.9 percent two or more races, .6 percent Alaska Native/American Indian and .2 percent Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.
The breakdown of certified staff at elementary schools showed 88.8 percent white, 8.1 percent black, 1.5 percent two or more races, 1 percent Hispanic, .41 percent Asian and .14 percent Alaska Native/American Indian.
The demographic breakdown at the county’s middle schools showed a student population that is 55.4 percent white, 25.2 percent black, 8.4 percent Hispanic, 5.7 percent two or more races, 4.8 percent Asian, .03 percent Alaska Native/American Indian and .01 percent Native Pacific Islander.
The breakdown of certified staff at middle schools showed 89.8 percent white, 7.6 percent black, 1 percent Hispanic, .7 percent two or more races, .5 percent Alaska Native/American Indian, .2 percent Asian and .2 percent Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.
And at the county’s high schools, the demographics for the student population showed 57.3 percent white, 23.8 percent black, 7.2 percent Hispanic, 7 percent two or more races, 4.1 percent Asian and .6 percent Alaska Native/American Indian.
The breakdown of certified staff at high schools showed 85.7 percent white, 8.4 percent black, 3.8 percent Hispanic, 1.3 percent two or more races and .6 percent Alaska Native/American Indian.
As for Fayette County’s population as a whole, the 2011 estimated federal census numbers showed the ethnic and race breakdown in Fayette as 67.2 percent white, 20.1 percent black, 6.5 percent Hispanic and 4.1 percent Asian.
Those representing two or more races accounted for 1.9 percent while American Indian or Alaska Native totaled .4 percent and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander accounted for .1 percent of the Fayette County population, according to www.census.gov.