To Laotian American parents and all multi-ethnic Lao people:
Please make sure you mark on your Census that you are Laotian.
A Laotian is anyone whose parents immigrated from Laos, who was born in Laos, whose parents, grandparents are from Laos.
Whether your an American Citizen or not, if your parents and roots are from Laos, please Choose/Check/Write down Laotian on the Census 2010 form!!!
Because if we are not fully counted, our Lao American community will NOT have a leverage/collective voice at the national or even local bargaining tables for funding, services, research, and aid that are much needed to assist our struggling multi-ethnic community at large in the United States of America.
Case in point: Laotian high school students who are reported by parents on the school forms that their primary language at home is Lao accounts for a total count of 861, ELL or English as a Second Language (ESL)
high school students, where as the Hmong high school students shows a total of 54,416.
Lesson learned: If we want to increase the 861 ELL headcount so we can have access to resources to help our Laotian high school students, then Please write down Lao language as your primary spoken language at home for parents with high school students.
Source: http://www.nea.org/achievement/talkingells.html and recently released data on ELLs from the U.S. Department of Education and tables highlighting data from the consolidated state performance reports (cspr) with 2006-07 data compliments of Soumary Vongrassamy, SEARAC Education Advocate.
Sourichanh Sirch Noi Chanthyasack
Chair, Board of Directors
Laotian American National Alliance
Sourichanh at LANA-USA.ORG
November 3, 2008