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Painesville City Schools Teaching Case

About Painesville, Ohio

A History of Diversity

Painesville, located on the southern shore of Lake Erie, has a population of around 20,000, of which 72% is White, 14% Black, and 14% other races. Hispanic families, primarily from Mexico and Puerto Rico, have been moving steadily into the district over the past 25 years, drawn by employment opportunities in the region’s steel mills and nurseries. These immigrants—the majority of whom are of Mexican background—now represent about 24% of the Painesville population.

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Reflective Questions

In the area near Cleveland in which Painesville is located, Hispanic immigrants have contributed productively to their communities for many years. Recent changes in U.S. immigration policies have resulted in increased deportations of immigrants, including widely publicized cases involving long-time adult residents with children born in the United States.

  • In what ways might immigration policies, and the local response to these policies, affect children enrolled in Painesville’s schools whose parents are immigrants?
  • In what ways might these policies affect the involvement of the district’s immigrant families in their children’s schooling?
  • In what ways might a school district address social issues, such as immigration, that impact a significant proportion of its students?

Economic Disadvantage

Although Painesville is the seat of government for Lake County, it is perhaps the most economically disadvantaged municipality in the county. The estimated median household income is around $42,000, below the national household median of $53,808. About a quarter of Painesville families have incomes below $25,000. Nearly 25% of Painesville’s labor force is employed in manufacturing with about 17% in education; 11% in arts, entertainment, and recreation; and 10% in retail. Less than 2% is employed in agriculture, forestry, or fishing.