Santa Clara County children of color and those who live in low-income households face disproportionate disparities in education, poverty levels and housing, new data shows.
The 2023 Santa Clara County Children’s Data Book compiles data about equity issues among children from across the county in an effort to pinpoint population needs pertaining to everyday issues.
Children make up 21%, or more than 406,000 residents in the county, according to the report. An estimated 37% are Asian, 33% are Latino, 20% are white, 8% are two or more races, 2% are Black and 1% are categorized as other.
Kids in Common, a county children’s advocacy group collaborating with the office of education, is also working with the department of Children and Family Policy which was formed last June.
Sarah Duffy, chief children’s officer for the Office of Children and Family Policy, said the report is helpful because it “provides a picture of the size of the issue” when it comes to addressing children’s needs in the county.
“Things shift very quickly in California and in Santa Clara County,” she told San José Spotlight. “Having that population level of data is really helpful from a planning perspective and from a policy advocacy perspective.”
The data shows that Black and Latino households continue to fall behind the rest of the county, affecting overall childhood stability and education.
Rev. Jeff Moore, president of the San Jose Silicon Valley NAACP, said while the report is important, he wants to see change actualized from the data to better support Black children at home and in schools.
“It’s important in the fact that we know where we are and we know what’s happening,” he told San José Spotlight. “What is the actual plan for the county (and for) the Board of Education to actually address it?”
Here are some key statistics from the report:
7% of children in the county experienced poverty in 2020. Of that average, 13% were Latino children and 12% were Black children.
19% of students were chronically absent from school during the 2021-22 school year. Of that total, 35% were Pacific Islander students, 31% Latino students and 25% Black students. Chronic absenteeism is defined as students who are absent 10% or more during the year.
47% of Black households struggle to meet the Real Cost Measure in 2019, which is defined as the total income for a family with two parents, a child in preschool and a school-aged child, that is needed to live comfortably. In Santa Clara county that amount is $120,028.
52% of Latino households struggling to meet that Real Cost Measure in 2019, compared to 21% of Asian and Pacific Islander households and 15% of white households. The RCM lists annual housing costs, $32,544, and childcare costs for two children,$21,420, as the top two expenses.
57% children in the county met or exceeded third grade English standards in the 2021-22 school year. Of that total, 29% of Latino children and 38% of Black children met or exceeded the standard.
48% children in the county met or exceeded eighth grade math standards in the 2021-22 school year. Of that total, 17% of Latino children and 20% of Black children met or exceeded the standard.
75% of the children suspended in the 2021-22 school year were Black, Latino or Native American while these groups only make up 42% of the students in Santa Clara County.