Counseling Today published an article this week on the changing demographics in the U.S. public school population. In particular, estimates suggest that the magic 50% mark will be reached this year, with White students making up less than 50% of the public school population for the first time in the history of the U.S. The article focuses primarily on the preparedness of the school counseling work force to work with the changing populations, rightly highlighting the importance of cultural competence in counseling.
However, the article does not address an important point that is closely connected to these changing demographics. In particular, the racial/ethnic distribution of this population is evenly spread out across the schools. Increased segregation resulting from systemic and societal factors is leading to large demographic differences across public school districts. Given the consistent association between SES and race/ethnicity, the unfortunate reality is that the largest adaptations will be required of the school systems that have the least resources with which to work. Thus, the challenge facing our society is to not be satisfied with the status quo. We need to take head on the increasing racial/ethnic segregation that continue to perpetuate the existing inequities that we see today.