Other school districts surrounding Madison also are seeing an increase in minority and low-income students.
In Sun Prairie and Verona, the percentage of minority students is more than five times what it was in the early 1990s, while the percentage of low-income students in Verona has more than doubled. Both districts also have seen significant growth in the number of Hispanic students who are not proficient in English.
Private schools in the Madison area also are seeing increases in their percentage of minority students. In the last seven years, minority enrollment increased 54 percent at Edgewood High School, where minorities now make up nearly 12 percent of the student body. At Madison Country Day School, in the Waunakee School District, 17 percent of its 247 students are minorities, up from 15 percent in 1997.
Between 1997 and 2004, enrollment at private schools in the Madison School District increased by 400 students, according to figures compiled by the district. Edgewood spokeswoman Kate Ripple said most Madison students who enroll in the private Catholic high school do so because of its faith component.