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By Alaynah Rose Garibay, Senior Consultant Latino Policy Forum and Dr. Rebecca Vonderlack-Navarro, Education Director Latino Policy Forum

Nearly one in four children in Illinois speak a language other than English in their homes. In 2019-20, there were 261,454 students classified as English Learners, roughly 11.7%. In addition, 655 school districts across the state offered English learner instructional programs to support the unique learning needs of those students. 

Until now, there has not been a sustained series of training designed to build the skills of school leaders responsible for student outcomes in those programs. There are unique factors that impact the learning trajectories of English learners over the long term, and administrators... Continue Reading

By Sylvia Puente, President & CEO

Latinos make solid and consistent contributions to Illinois' population and labor force.

Were it not for Latinos, the state's population and workforce would have contracted. The group contributed more than $97 billion to Chicago's economy from 2010-2018, according to the recently released 2022 Chicago Metro Latino GDP Report.

The Forum is thrilled with the author's details in outlining the Latino communities' wealth-making success, driven by swift gains in human capital and a strong work ethic. 

However, missing from the narrative is the Latino wealth paradox. The community continues to not benefit from the prosperity it creates.

To amplify, the data published by California Lutheran University... Continue Reading

By Vanessa Peña, Education Policy Analyst

The Forum was honored to join with forty-one community organizations to partner with the Regional Office of Education West 40 and Morton College in Cicero for the annual “Backpack Giveback” event that took place on Saturday, August 6, 2022. The Regional Office of West 40 serves 41 school districts and three co-ops in West Cook County. 

Excited families formed a line that wrapped around the Morton College campus in Cicero to pick up free backpacks and school supplies for their kids in elementary school, middle school, and high school.  Each backpack contained basic school supplies such as notebooks, crayons, pencils, and a ruler.

Inside the gymnasium of Morton... Continue Reading

Friends and neighbors,

I hope that you are all having an enjoyable and safe summer.

My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families of the victims and survivors of the Fourth of July mass shooting in Highland Park. That most recent gun violence is another example of what has become frighteningly commonplace in our country, robbing us of our sense of peace and security. It is imperative that all of those affected by the tragedy get the proper help during the healing process.

I look to the members of the Illinois Latino Agenda (ILA), a growing coalition of Latino leaders that the Forum convenes, to lead... Continue Reading

Action Tank

Removing Barriers To Resourse Sharing and Services

By Edwin Ortiz Reyes, Housing Policy Analyst, Latino Policy Forum

In April I had the opportunity to be a part of the Complex Care Regional Convening hosted by Rush University Medical Center. The convening, titled Healthcare and Housing Access for All, brought stakeholders from many different fields to meet and discuss barriers and obstacles in healthcare and housing access for immigrants. Participants were split into groups called “Action Tanks,” which focused on specific topics and worked to build consensus and develop actionable solutions that would remove barriers to resource sharing and access to services for immigrants. 

Due to my work on the Housing Rights... Continue Reading