Areas of focus for 2021-2022 are migrant education, the Latino educator and administrator pipeline, and improving access to inclusive educational materials
The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) highlights three main areas of focus for 2021-2022: improving education for migrant students, strengthening the Latino educator and administrators pipeline through a focus on loan forgiveness, and making more inclusive educational materials available to students. The organization selected these three issues based on conversations among states during the last year and reiterated during the organization’s legislative day held prior to its ALAS 18th Annual National Summit, which took place Oct. 7-9, 2021.
“The three topics served as the cornerstone for conversations taking place during meetings with state legislative representatives,” said ALAS Executive Director Dr. Maria Armstrong. “ALAS will be making these our top priorities to focus on this school year along with all of the tethered issues associated with priorities such as these. Raising awareness of these critical issues is the first step toward creating systemic change that will have a lasting impact on school districts and the students they serve.”
ALAS’ 2021-2022 areas of focus are:
Migrant education. Children of migrant workers often face significant barriers to education because they move regularly from school to school and state to state. These moves create repeated interruptions to their learning and require them to constantly adapt to changing surroundings and curricula. ALAS will focus on programs and policies that provide uninterrupted learning for children of migrant workers and support them from elementary school through high school and beyond.
The Latino educator and administrator pipeline. The percentage of Latino teachers serving in public schools has historically been disproportionately low compared to the percentage of Latino students, despite evidence of the positive impact having a Latino teacher has on Latino students. Latinos are also consistently underrepresented in education leadership positions. ALAS believes this underrepresentation is at least partially due to the greater student loan debt that educators of color often accrue. This debt, coupled with low teacher pay and the low likelihood of qualifying for loan forgiveness can discourage Latinos from pursuing education careers. ALAS will focus its work this year on programs and policies that support equity in loan forgiveness and creative ways to encourage more Latinos to enter the teaching profession – and stay.
Inclusive educational materials. ALAS believes that Latino students need to have better access to educational materials that offer inclusionary history and representation. Although more than a quarter of public school students are Latino, the majority of curricula depict protagonists as white. ALAS supports improved availability and access to educational materials – books, textbooks, online materials, media and more – in which Latinos are represented in all aspects of color, backgrounds, and historical narratives, along with other historically marginalized ethnicities.