Advocates for Children of New York sounding alarm on growing student homelessness crisis
Advocates for Children of New York is calling attention to the rising issue of student homelessness, focusing on how it is a major barrier for learning.
For an eighth consecutive year, more than 100,000 New York City public school students were classified as homeless. AFC says although the migrant crisis has greatly contributed to this issue, students experiencing homelessness is nothing new.
Across all five boroughs, one in every nine students were not in permanent housing in the 2022-2023 school year, according to city data. The highest rate of student homelessness can be seen in the Bronx - one in every six students were homeless in the borough in that same time frame, according to the New York State Department of Education.
AFC praised the 100 community coordinators that the city's Department of Education put in shelters to help with educational needs. However, they were hired using temporary funds and the money is set to expire. The advocacy group says the children in these situations face a number of hardships and obstacles to succeed in school.
News 12 reached out to the New York City Department of Education, who provided the following statement:
“Our young people experiencing homelessness are some of our most vulnerable students, and it is our on-going priority to provide them with every support and resource at our disposal. We are grateful for the federal stimulus dollars that have allowed us to establish critical supports for our students and families affected by homelessness, including the shelter-based coordinators that were hired and who have directly supported families within our shelter system.
Although stimulus funding is expiring, ensuring continued support for these student populations remains essential. That is why, this year, we added a new weight to the Fair Student Funding formula that prioritizes students in temporary housing, allocating more funding to schools supporting these students; and why we are continuing to direct advance register growth funding to meet the immediate needs of schools receiving incoming students.”
AFC says this crisis needs to be at the forefront of conversations surrounding education.