Latino Education in the Time of COVID: The Pandemic’s Unique Impact on Latino Students and Families in Massachusetts

August 2020

COVID-19 is decimating the Latino community. Latinos are experiencing higher rates of infection, mortality, job loss and barriers to accessing education. Disparities that have long existed for black and brown students and families have been exacerbated by COVID-19. According to the Gaston Institute, “Latinos, who make up 12.3% of the state’s population, account for 30% of all COVID-19 cases.”

This pandemic’s impact has left an undeniable mark with long lasting effects on the Latino community and in particular its children. Over 22% of students across Massachusetts are Latino. The hardest hit cities in the Commonwealth serve a majority of Latino students. In order for our student population to be successful, Latino students and families need to be successful.

As the pubic became aware of the tragic realities falling on the Latino community, non-Latino leaders speculated on the Latinx experience and often proposed simplified solutions without fully understanding the nuances within our comunidad. The void of Latino representation at decision-making tables has never been more apparent. In order to highlight the Latino experience and identify needs and solutions, Latinos for Education gathered the perspective from about 350 Latinos in Massachusetts (Spanish-speaking families, teachers, school leaders, and multi-sector leaders) on how COVID-19 is uniquely impacting Latino students and families. We also asked Latinos to share insights for solutions to support the Latino community through this pandemic.


While each group surveyed shared different perspectives on the needs of Latinx students and families based on their vantage point, there was an overlap in identifying the most pressing needs. The 10 key themes were narrowed into four categories of key insights.

MA COVID Impact Themes


  1. Relative to their children, Latinx parents are most concerned with their mental health.
  2. Inequitable access to basic needs such as income, housing and food is a major barrier to
    student success.
  3. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated the digital divide and Latinx
    students’ access to technology and wi-fi.
  4. Latinos must be represented in leadership and driving decision making on long-term
    solutions to systemic inequities
MA COVID report cover

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Take Action: Sign the Letter to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to provide Latino communities with equitable access to technology.

Virtual Convening Materials

Expanding the Discourse: The Pandemic’s Unique Impact on Latino Students and Families in Massachusetts

View Latinos for Education’s official statement on Boston Public Schools Re-Opening Plan

Watch the Event:

Download the PowerPoint Deck: