Baby Boomers' Kids Fill Nation's Schools New Generation Ethnically Diverse

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- The baby boom is back in school.

The millions of postwar children who flooded the nation's schools decades ago are filling the classrooms again -- with their offspring.

The Census Bureau reports that the number of students enrolled in U.S. elementary and high schools reached 48 million in 1997, just short of the all-time high of 48.7 million recorded in 1970.

"In the past few years, as the children of baby boomers reached school age, elementary and high school enrollments have risen, and this trend is expected to continue for the near future," said Gladys Martinez, one of the report's authors.

"This comes on the heels of declining enrollments in the 1970s and early 1980s when there was a general decrease in the 6- to 17-year-old population," she said.

According to the report, "School Enrollment in the United States -- Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 1997," elementary and high school students in 1997 were more racially and ethnically diverse than students of the baby boom generation. …