A candidate for Alaska’s school board in Anchorage has a theory on why the Anchorage School District is having financial problems.

In an interview with Alaska Public Media, Don Smith, 75, compared the ethnic makeup of students in the district today to when he was in school. 

From ADN:

“When I was in Anchorage High School, it was about 98 percent white students, and the balance were probably Native, and one or two black students,” he told reporter Daysha Eaton. “Today, we’re 48 percent white, 52 percent other, and that clearly is causing problems. I think our numbers are dropping because we’re importing all these people that aren’t up to the standards that we had set for the school.”

In the 2012-13 school year, 55 percent of the district’s students were non-white. At West High School, formerly Anchorage High, 62 percent of the students were non-white last October, according to the district. Data from before 1976 wasn’t immediately available.

Read more at ADN

Smith comment came in response to a question about what he thought was driving recent increases in graduation rates, and decreases in dropout rates.

He stated that “we might be just in a lucky period.”

Watch the interview:

By the year 2050, most of the U.S. population will consist of people of color. Thoughts on Smith’s comments?

Sound off below!