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2/5/2018 7:06:00 PM
Cass County has second highest percentage of Hispanic children in state
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Ben Middelkamp, Pharos-Tribune

Cass County has the highest percentage of English language learners in the state, according to data collected in the 2018 Kids Count Data Book.

Of the more than 6,500 public school students in the county, 16.4 percent of them were identified as speaking English as a second language in 2016. That's almost 3 percentage points higher than the second highest rate in the state, Elkhart County.

While Cass County's overall population of children continues to decline, the county has a higher percentage of Hispanic students than 90 Indiana counties. According to 2015 data, 24.4 percent of Cass County's child population is of Hispanic origin. Only Clinton County had more Latino children.

Logansport Community School Corp. houses the majority of the EL students in the county. The district had 1,016 students in the program in 2016, or 24 percent of its student population. Fifty-six other EL students attended the county's three other corporations. 

More than 40 percent of the corporation's enrollment is Hispanic as of the 2017-2018 school year. Emily Graham, director of Logansport's EL program, said that's helped the district maintain enrollment over the past few decades.

"Without our Hispanic students, we would most definitely have fewer teachers and likely fewer school buildings still in operation at LCSC," Graham wrote in a message. "A third of our population constitutes a large amount of money from the state department. Those dollars allow us to provide programming and staff that keep our corporation moving forward."

Related Stories:
• Kids Count report: Abuse, poverty, infant mortality continue as Hoosier problems
• 14 Indiana counties lost at least 9% of child population between 2011-2016, report says
• National effort to write love notes to immigrants begins in downtown Goshen

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