Homeless Student Population Growing in New York City Public Schools!

Dear Commons Community,

The New York City Independent Budget Office (IBO) has just issued an update on an earlier report exploring the homeless student population in NYC public schools.  Both the original report and this update were  prepared by an alumna of our PhD Program in Urban Education, Liza Pappas.  Here is an excerpt from the update:

“The number of students in the city’s public schools who lived for some part of the school year in New York’s homeless shelters during school year 2015-2016 rose by more than 4,000, or 15 percent, over the preceding year to nearly 33,000. IBO recently explored  the multilayered impediments to classroom success faced by students living in the city’s shelter system, as well as the substantial challenges faced by schools serving large populations of shelter residents.

Many students living in shelters are concentrated in a relatively small number of the city’s schools. Until last year’s addition of $10.3 million, schools did not receive additional funding to aid their homeless students. The Mayor’s recent initiative to move families out of hotels and cluster sites and into newly created shelters close to their prior communities may add to the concentration in some schools and reduce it at others. Two major highlights of this update:

  • In 2015-2016, over 40 percent (13,729) of students in the shelter system attended school in the Bronx. This represents a 44 percent increase in shelter residents attending schools in the Bronx since 2011-2012. 
  • The number of homeless students attending school rose 18 percent in Brooklyn, 21 percent in Manhattan, and 50 percent in Queens over the same five-year period. Staten Island, the borough with the fewest students living in shelters, saw their numbers double, an increase of 105 percent. 

The update makes clear that the homeless student population is growing and reaching historic proportions especially in the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Good work, Liza, for bringing attention to this issue.




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