Today, the nation begins its annual observation of Hispanic Heritage Month. Through Oct. 15, Americans will reflect on the many contributions Hispanics have made to enrich the tapestry of our country in a wide variety of areas.
This occasion affords us an opportunity to recognize the vital and increasingly important role that Hispanics play in the nation’s education system and the tremendous progress they have made in education. Numbering more than 54 million people, which includes a quarter of our preK-12 student population, and more than 2 million students in higher education, Hispanics are the largest, youngest, and fastest-growing population in the country. They are an ever-larger segment of the American workforce, so it is critical that we make investments that increase access to a quality education, and support postsecondary completion.
This year, we will also observe the 25th anniversary of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics and their service to our nation’s Latino community. In order to help move the nation forward, Latinos must continue to graduate from high school college and career ready. We must continue to ensure they have access to a quality, well-rounded education, if they are to help fulfill America’s future.