We envision a community of empowered Hispanic leaders who impact policy and achieve equality through education.
Who we are
The Hispanic Education Coalition of Palm Beach County (HEC) is a non-profit organization established to promote educational equity in the Palm Beach County School District. HEC recognizes that by advocating for greater equity and access for Hispanic students, educational professionals, and community members, it will also benefit other groups in the community which have been historically underserved. The activities of the HEC are outlined in the categories that follow:
HEC will advocate for access to all of the district’s schools for students regardless of race, first language or immigration status. Additionally, HEC will monitor that access to educational programs within the district whose numbers are limited is carried out on a fair and non-discriminatory basis.
Reducing the Drop-Out Rate
HEC does not accept the normality that dropout rates for Hispanic and other minority group students which are two to three times greater than those of mainstream students. Therefore, HEC will monitor school and district practices and make suggestions which will help to reduce this disparity. Additionally, HEC is vitally concerned that, among Hispanic and other minority graduates in the Palm Beach County Schools, a disturbingly large percentage are not “college ready” and are in need of remedial college courses.
Equitable Employment Opportunities
HEC is concerned that the percentage of Hispanic teachers and administrators in the district is significantly below the proportion of Hispanic students. To establish a baseline and seek solutions in the future, HEC strongly supports that the district conducts a Disparity Study pursuant to district policy 3.05. Such a study conducted by an outside group would enable the district to determine where inequities may exist, which actions by the district are “outliers” and which represent patterns which need to be corrected.
HEC is committed to engaging members of the Hispanic community in Palm Beach County to understand their concerns and desires regarding public education. HEC seeks to serve as a catalyst to take topics generated in the Hispanic community and turn them into suggestions/recommendations to improve the district’s policies and administrative practices. HEC will also seek to join with other community organizations which strive to achieve greater educational equity for all of the district’s students. HEC has been recognized by the district’s school board and has received a regular slot to address the board prior to each meeting.
Impact on the District Curriculum
The Hispanic Education Coalition supports a curriculum which stresses strong verbal and quantitative skills. However, focus on skills should also be incorporated into a curriculum which presents students with a multicultural view of American society and well as the information to be globally literate. In particular, HEC supports the implementation of state curricular mandates stipulated in FS 1003.42 requiring the teaching of Hispanic, African American, Women’s and Holocaust Studies within the k-12 curriculum in Florida’s public schools. HEC also recognizes that in order to meet these goals, professional development for the district’s teachers must remain a high priority. HEC has received a seat on the district’s Academic Advisory Committee in order to provide its academic input on a regular basis.
The Hispanic Education Coalition will work with Palm Beach County School District board members and administrators to improve educational equity for Hispanic and other students who are currently underachieving in the district’s schools. HEC will recognize actions by individuals who help achieve this end. When there are actions taken which do not serve greater access or educational equity in the Palm Beach County School District, HEC will call attention to these actions and work to reverse decisions or policies which retard educational equity.
The following organization also work to advance educational equity locally as well as nationally. HEC of PBC partners with them and other organizations to share knowledge and best practices to achieve our goals.
The Hispanic Education Coalition (HEC) unites 25 organizations dedicated to improving educational opportunities for the nearly 50 million Latinos living in the United States and Puerto Rico. Co-chaired by MALDEF and the Migrant Legal Action Program, the HEC focuses upon federal legislative issues relating to education including the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the Head Start Act, the Higher Education Act, adequate federal funding for education, and the educational concerns of English Language Learners. In each of these areas, the HEC strives to ensure that t dialogue at the federal level regarding education issues reflects the education priorities of the Latino community.at the federal level regarding education issues reflects the education priorities of the Latino community.