Famous societal commentator Mark Steyn says, “Demographics is destiny”. He couldn’t be more right with recent numbers coming out of Logansport, Indiana school district. In a recent article on food culture in Logansport, Indiana, demographic numbers were shared on how immigration has exploded in the town and school district.
According to U.S census figures, from 1970 to 2019, the state’s non-white population increased 13.9%, going from 7.2% to 21.1%. In Logansport, that change was even more dramatic: In 1970, only 1.3% of the population was non-white compared to 32.7% in 2019. That’s a percentage change of 31.4%.
While the city’s population has decreased from 19,255 in 1970 to 18,396 in 2019, the percentage of non-whites has outpaced that of state. Today nearly a third of the city’s population identifies as non-white.
The school system now handles 23 languages, including distinct dialects, but those without school-aged children may be underreported. The percentage of students who speak English as a new language has gone from 13.3% in the 2001-02 school year to 41% this school year, down from a high of 43% last year.
The Logansport school district is not very big at all. Pre-K through 12th grade student population is 4,292 students. That means for every 186 students, there is a different language being spoken! The mass immigration shift has led to only having a 54% proficient rating in reading according to the school districts website.
The language barrier comes with a taxpayer cost according to Pharos Tribune:
Since the mid-1990s, the Logansport students who aren’t native English speakers have increased about 400 percent, making them about a third of the school population, said Emily Graham, the English Learning (EL) director at Logansport Community School Corporation.
It’s not any easier to find teachers with an EL certification, though.
A Purdue University project that Logansport has allied itself with is trying to change that.
For four years, starting last school year, Leveraging the Lectura y Lenguaje [Literacy & Language] will be training current Logansport elementary teachers for EL certification.
The intensive course of four eight-week courses, a summer course and a national qualifying test gives Logansport teachers with EL certification — two teachers and one administrator last year and 11 teachers and another administrator this year.
Funding for the project comes from the U.S. Department of Education — $1.84 million for the pilot project.
Through all this data and information, the biggest benefactor of this immigration boom in Logansport, Indiana can be found here.