In the past year, Hispanics have gone from being almost 49 percent of students to 50.2 percent, the El Paso Times reported Wednesday. The state's public schools have been majority minority for more than a decade.
In the 1999-2000 school year, Hispanics were 40 percent of the student population, blacks 14 percent and students of European descent 43 percent.
Steve Murdock, a former Texas state demographer and director of the U.S. Census Bureau, said the state's Hispanic population is also the fastest-growing. He predicted that in 30 years 80 percent of public school students will be Hispanic, black or from other minority groups.
"The future of Texas, for anyone looking at this, is tied to our minority population and our young population, and how well they do is really how well Texas is going to do," he recently told a legislative committee, warning that Texas should not skimp on education.