To help keep young Latinas in school and on track for success, the National Women’s Law Center and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund went straight to the source: Latina students and the adults who work with them every day. Our new report, Listening to Latinas: Barriers to High School Graduation, explores the causes of the dropout crisis for Latinas and identifies the actions needed to improve their graduation rates and get them ready for college.
Latinas are dropping out of school in alarming numbers. Forty-one percent of Latina students do not graduate with their class in four years — if they graduate at all. Many Latina students face challenges related to poverty, immigration status, limited English proficiency, and damaging gender and ethnic stereotypes. And the high teen pregnancy rate for Latinas (53% by the age of 20) reflects and reinforces the barriers they face.