New data from the Advocates for Children of New York City (AFC) highlighted the alarmingly low rate of attendance from students living in city homeless shelters.
AFC’s findings from their Still Disconnected: Persistently Low Attendance Rates for Students in Shelter led the group to call on the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to direct COVID-19 relief money towards hiring shelter-based staff who can help ensure students experiencing homelessness to attend school every day.
“The Administration’s current proposal for spending millions in federal funding does not address the most fundamental problem, which is that children in shelter are not getting to school in the first place,” said Jennifer Pringle, Director of AFC’s Learners in Temporary Housing Project during the May 18 announcement. “School can transform the lives of students who are homeless, but only if students get there. With the federal funding available, the Administration has the opportunity and responsibility to tackle chronic absenteeism for students living in shelters by investing in coordinators to figure out why students aren’t making it to school and resolve the problems that stand in their way.”