California, Minnesota and Wisconsin are the top states for Hmong immigration while the city of Sacramento is the No. 3 metro area for Hmong immigration – behind Minneapolis-St. Paul and Fresno. Hmong parents and students alike have reported feeling excluded and isolated from traditional public schools. Parents were alarmed at high dropout rates and participation of Hmong children in gangs. So Sacramento’s Hmong Youth Parents United group in 2008 started talking about starting a charter school that would emphasize Hmong language and culture for all kids, reported the Sacramento Bee. It would also feature field trips that would expose kids to a wide range of experiences. That proposal, for the Yav Pem Suab (“Prepare for the Future”) Academy, was submitted to the Sacramento City school district in November. The school would have a 175-day year-round calendar with an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday schedule.

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