Giving Compass' Take:
- A new analysis found that New York City schools reached a record high last year of more 120,000 homeless students.
- How does homelessness impact student education and mental health?
- Read more about ending youth homlessness.
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The number of homeless students attending New York City schools reached a record high last year after thousands of asylum-seeking families entered the city’s shelter system, a new analysis shows.
Roughly 1 in 9 students were living in shelters, “doubled up” with relatives or friends, or otherwise without permanent housing at some point in the school year, according to state data compiled by Advocates for Children, a group that supports the city’s most vulnerable students.
The city’s population of homeless students was astronomical even before the recent influx, with the number of kids lacking permanent housing exceeding 100,000 for each of the past eight years – a stark indication of the city’s ongoing housing crisis.
But the sudden arrival of thousands of families fleeing dire conditions in Latin America and other parts of the world pushed the figure to nearly 120,000 last school year — a 14% increase over the previous school year. It’s an all-time high, even as the city’s overall student enrollment has plummeted, according to Advocates for Children, which has been crunching this number annually for more than a decade.
The number is likely to be even higher by the end of this school year. Roughly 12,500 new students in temporary housing have enrolled in city schools since July, according to an Education Department spokesperson.
“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,” spokesperson Jenna Lyle said in a statement.
The increase has profound implications for city schools.
An astounding 72% of students living in homeless shelters were marked chronically absent last year — meaning they missed at least 18 days of school, according to data compiled by Advocates for Children. For all students in temporary housing, including those living doubled up, the rate was 54%, and for kids in permanent housing, it was 39%.
Students living in shelters were also more than four times as likely as kids with permanent housing to transfer schools last year, and less than half as likely to score proficient on state reading exams, according to the data.
Read the full article about homeless students by Michael Elsen-Rooney at Chalkbeat.