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Assessing the relationship between hispanic power structure and funding of bilingual education
The dual purpose of this study was to ascertain if indeed school districts are fulfilling the intention of the Bilingual Education Act of 1968, i.e. compensatory education for limited English-speaking students for whom Spanish is the mother tongue and whether those communities receiving deferential amounts of funding are related to Hispanic participation in the educational system. Document and survey data was gathered from 209 Texas school districts which have 40 percent or more Hispanics in average daily attendance. A random stratified sample of 20 of these school districts which have funded bilingual education programs was examined in depth. Hispanic participation in education was assessed through surveys of Hispanics holding positions of decision-making and policy-setting within the school district and the community. LULAC, a state-wide advocacy group, litigation conducted by the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund and surveys of Hispanic legislators were examined to determine if political pressure was related to bilingual funding. Results indicate that the intention of the Bilingual Education Act of 1968 is not being fulfilled in all school districts in Texas. Three counties, Aransas County, Refugio County, and DeWitt County, all with 1,200 or more school-aged Hispanics, are not providing any types of bilingual education program. A rank-order comparison indicated that bilingual funds, for the most part, are being distributed to Texas counties with the highest concentration of school-aged Hispanics, but within these counties there is a wide variation in the distribution of funds to individual school districts. A comparison of 119 school districts with bilingual education and 90 without bilingual offerings showed the groups to be significantly different in size, number and percentage of Hispanics, LULAC, litigation proceedings, number of Hispanic school board members and superintendents, and the percentage of Hispanic administrators and principals. Higher participation of Hispanics in the educational system was a key indicator of bilingual offerings as well as higher funding levels. Hispanic legislators indicated that they utilize language and ethnic boundaries when needed in order to establish a political power base in their districts. All agreed that their constituents generally viewed bilingual education as an important issue for Hispanic political recognition. The implications of Hispanic participation in the educational process as a determinant of bilingual funding are discussed.
SubjectCurriculum and Instruction
1982 Dissertation S94954
Sultemeier, Barbar (1982). Assessing the relationship between hispanic power structure and funding of bilingual education. Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Libraries. Available electronically from
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