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Growing Leaders Blog

on Leading the Next Generation


Tomorrow’s Student Population: Are You Ready for Them?

next generationHave you seen the numbers? The American demographic is changing far more quickly than most of us realize. Because I don’t know the inside scoop on your state, let me illustrate by sharing the statistics I just heard from my home state, Georgia.

Between 2012 and 2020, growth in ethnic groups of kids in K-12 education will be:

  • 17% Hispanic population growth
  • 2% African-American population growth
  • .05% Caucasian population growth

Minorities are a Majority

Today, 53% of Georgia students are non-white. That’s a majority of minorities.

Nearly four in every ten students live in a single parent home. Among Blacks, they’re 300% more likely; among Hispanics, 150% more likely…to live with a single mom.

Approximately 25% of our students live in poverty. And get this: 59% receive a free or reduced cost lunch at school.

This is sad, but it’s not the most disconcerting to me. Keep reading.

According to the Georgetown University Center for Education and the Workforce, by 2018, approximately 62% of the available US jobs will require some post-secondary education. A high school diploma will not be enough. Unfortunately, one of the largest predictors of whether a child will attend college is family income.

The implications?

  1. The jobs we most need in the future require some kind of post-HS education.
  2. The candidates for those jobs will be down unless they come from outside.
  3. Because income will be down, tax revenue for K-12 education will be down.
  4. We are unwittingly creating a future that ill-equips kids to succeed as adults.

I urge you to research numbers from your state.

How are we preparing our kids for life beyond the classroom?

Need help understanding today’s student population?
Read Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future.


  1. Philmmaclean on March 15, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Wow, those numbers are staggering.  Do you have a website recommendation that list similar statistics for all states?  Thanks for all the awareness you put out there, it has certainly impacted the way I parent and teach.  

  2. Trent Thomas on March 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    As a high school teacher, I see this as an epidemic that could prove to be fatal.  I teach 90 kids a day and the tax dollars are already not enough to support the staff salaries or the materials necessary to teach to the next level.  This is not a fault of any one person, but lack of funds is a real issue today.  Nonetheless, we as teachers can make eye contact, instill dignity, and teach with passion to try and offset this decline of funds!

    • Tim Elmore on March 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm

      Thanks for sharing your first-hand experience. I know there are no easy solutions to this problem but I’m glad to know so many are working to fix it!

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Tomorrow’s Student Population: Are You Ready for Them?