July 30, 2007

CONLAMIC Leaders Address Hispanic Education Crisis

Washington, DC – The Board of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) has gathered recently to announce its plans to address a critical problem that threatens the future and well-being of the Latino family nationwide, the dire state of Hispanic American educational achievement.

Statistics tell us that more than 40% of Hispanic youth drop out of school before finishing the ninth grade. We have heard many say this is due to poverty, lack of parental involvement, poor teaching, but it is our belief that the problem mostly lies in our broken American public school system, a bureaucracy that refuses to change and remains in a mode of the status quo, losing the precious lives of minority children by the hundreds of thousands in most inner cities throughout the country.

The Catholic Church has confronted this problem with the early establishment of Catholic private schools. They have had excellent result, in fact, 85% of Hispanic American professionals were educated in private Catholic Schools. CONLAMIC represents more than 16,000 churches in 32 states across America. Its leaders believe that now is the time to begin establishing its own private schools.

“As leaders of the American Latino Evangelical church, we feel the responsibility of addressing the Hispanic school drop out rate head on. We cannot wait 20 more years for the public school system to improve; we must save our youngest generation from living a standard of life that is lower than their parents before them,” urged Reverend Miguel Rivera, President of CONLAMIC.

Private Christian schools started by Latino churches will offer parents an option that they don’t currently have to a quality education. For this reason, CONLAMIC’s leaders have mutually agreed upon effort, it calls its Ministry of Education, by establishing its first 100 Latino Christian academies by the year 2017.

Meetings held this year between CONLAMIC, Hispanic CREO and the U.S. Department of Education and the White House have resulted in the development of the first ever White House Faith & Community Initiatives on Youth and Education conference. This event will be held September 24, 2007 and is being organized by the White House Office of Faith Based Initiatives and the U.S. Dept. of Education.

The White House event will feature keynote speeches from the U.S. Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings, Rev. Miguel Rivera, and the presence of President Bush is also expected. The event will coincide with CONLAMIC’s 8th Annual Legislative Conference, September 25th during which it will hold legislative briefings with members of the U.S. House of Representatives. For more information and to register, please visit www.conlamic.org.

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