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Education officials have allowed many of New York City’s homeless students to miss large swaths of school without required intervention from city personnel, according to a scathing audit issued Thursday by Comptroller Scott Stringer.
The report comes as city officials have struggled to address the growing student homelessness crisis: There were over 111,000 homeless students last year — or roughly one in 10 public school students. And while advocates have pushed for the education department to devote more resources to serving homeless students, Stringer’s audit offers new evidence that they often slip through the cracks.
Here are three key findings from the report:
- Students living in shelters sometimes miss an astonishing amount of school.
- In 92 percent of the cases examined, the education department had not reached out after a student living in a shelter failed to show up for school.
- The staffers who oversee students in shelters have average caseloads of nearly 300 students.
In response to the audit, City Hall spokeswoman Olivia Lapeyrolerie pointed to a number of efforts the city is making to better serve homeless students, including better data sharing between city agencies and hiring social workers.
“This has been a serious challenge in our city for decades,” she wrote in a statement. “Our administration is tackling it head-on with investments in school and shelter programming, including dramatically expanded bus service, more social workers, and better monitoring so we know who’s missing from class.”
Read the full article about the alarming audit about homeless students in NYC by Alex Zimmerman at Chalkbeat.