Latino Parents Sound Off

Majority of Latino parents want big changes or a complete overhaul of the U.S. education system


Chicago, July 24, 2023– The National Parents Union and UnidosUS have partnered to release a new poll of Latino parents during UnidosUS’s 2023 Annual Conference this week in Chicago and National Parents’ Day, observed yesterday. The survey shows that Latino parents want the economy, gun violence, crime and public safety, and education to be the focus of American politicians and policymakers – they strongly support bilingual education, culturally reflective educators, and schools and are not fixated on political tactics like book banning.

While Latino parents said they trust Democrats more than twice as much as they trust Republicans on handling education issues 33% vs. 15%, the findings also show that both parties have work to do with Latino parents to build trust.

The poll found that Latino parents, regardless of party identification or income, overwhelmingly support several federal actions that, if implemented, could ease families’ financial burdens and unlock educational opportunities for children:

  • 92% support providing free lunch at school for all K-12 public school students
  • 88% support funding for low-income students graduating from high school to receive one free year of college classes or career training
  • 86% support funding directly to families to help them pay for additional academic support (e.g., tutoring outside of school)
  • 84% support reinstating the Child Tax Credit to give families monthly checks of $300 per child under the age of six and $250 per child age six or older
  • 84% support funding directly to families of public school students to help them pay for additional mental health support for their children (e.g., counseling outside of school)

When it comes to education, 61% of Latino parents said they want big changes or a complete overhaul of the U.S. education system. Approximately two-thirds (64%) think that their children’s schools should be doing more to help students who fell behind during the COVID-19 pandemic catch up, with a majority of parents emphasizing tutoring, after-school and summer programs. Additionally, more than half (55%) said schools need to do more to support students’ mental health.

Parents strongly value cultural competency, a representative teacher core, and dual language programs.

  • Only about half (56%) of parents say their child’s school offers a bilingual, language immersion, or dual-language learning program, and of the 26% who didn’t have this option, an overwhelming 78% say they would likely enroll their child in one of these programs if it was offered, showing there is strong demand for bilingual education.
  • 75% of parents agree that it is important to have teachers at their children’s schools whose backgrounds reflect the racial and cultural diversity of their communities.

These values are in stark contrast to their views on book banning.

Only 15% of Latino parents think they should have the power to prevent all students at their child’s school from having access to the curriculum. More than half (52%) say that if they object to school curriculum or reading materials that conflict with their personal beliefs, they should only be able to have their own child opt out.

Eric Rodriguez, UnidosUS Senior Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, sums up the findings, “As parents around the country get ready to send their children back to school, this poll shows that Latino parents are focused on real pressing issues that impact their children’s development and learning. They want and expect policymakers from all parties to pay attention and prioritize the needs of Latino students and their families. These include more support for post-pandemic academic recovery, English language learners, and mental health resources – they are not interested in divisive and unhelpful issues like book banning that make a lot of noise but do nothing to advance educational progress.”

“Latino parents are making it clear to school leaders and policymakers that they must do more to support students in their journeys toward a brighter future,” said Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and President of the National Parents Union.

“That means offering more career-oriented classes, investing in mental health resources, and prioritizing funding for low-income families so they can access additional academic support. There’s no more guessing where Latino parents stand on these key issues– now it’s time to act.”


National Parents Union Hispanic Parents Survey

N=1,015 Hispanic/Latino parents of K-12 public school students

Field Dates: June 30–July 7, 2023

Margin of Sampling Error: ± 4.6 percentage points


About the National Parents Union 

With more than 1,000 affiliated parent organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, the National Parents Union is the united, independent voice of modern American families. We channel the power of parents into powerful policies that improve the lives of children, families, and communities across the United States.