Booming growth in the Hispanic immigrant population in the Washington, D.C., area and an increasing number of minority preschool-aged children has vast implications for schools, both in terms of enrollment numbers and greater demands being placed on districts' ELL and early-childhood education programs, said Michael Fix, director of studies at the Migration Policy Institute. Fix said: "All of this really reinforces the importance for counties to increase their investment in early childhood development now. If you don't make that investment, one of the penalties you pay down the line is that you have kids in school who don't speak English well and whose overall performance lags behind."

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