Immigration, ethnicity, and the loss of white students from California public schools, 1990-2000

Jennifer Van Hook, Jason Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This article investigates whether and the extent to which "white flight" from Hispanic and Limited English Proficient (LEP) students has been occurring in California's public schools and further, examines the level (school or district) on which "white flight" may operate. Using school-level administrative data from the California Department of Education from 1990 to 2000, we estimate exponential growth rate models of white enrollment with school-level fixed effects. The results shed light on the implications of immigration for school segregation in the United States. The analysis indicates that white enrollment declined in response to increases in the number of Spanish-speaking LEP and Hispanic students, and that "white flight" from LEP or Hispanic students occurred more at the district than the school level in the case of primary schools, and at the school level for secondary schools. In addition, schools with higher percentages of Spanish LEP students in the school than the district, and with higher percentages in the district relative to the county, experienced greater losses in white enrollments than other schools, thus suggesting that higher levels of segregation in the wider metropolitan area accelerate white flight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-277
Number of pages19
JournalPopulation Research and Policy Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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