Advocates need town Education Department to hire 150 individuals to ensure that students in homeless shelters get to school day by day.
Chronic absenteeism — outlined as lacking more than one in ten school days — is an enormous problem citywide this 12 months, and it’s more pronounced amongst students in homeless shelters.
Last school 12 months, 64% of students residing in shelters had been marked chronically absent, in contrast to 28% of their friends in everlasting housing.
The cash to hire employees in shelters would come from $33 million in federal stimulus funds, the advocates say. The employees, referred to as household assistants, would help homeless households with any school-based wants.
The metropolis has already dedicated to hiring 50 new household assistants with federal money, however advocates say that’s not sufficient, and are pushing the company to use the rest of the federal cash to hire 100 more.
“With 60% of students living in shelter chronically absent from school, it is important to have someone on the ground in the shelter who can partner directly with families, determine why a particular child is missing school, and resolve the problem,” 30 advocacy organizations wrote in a letter Thursday to Mayor Adams and faculties Chancellor David Banks.
Advocates famous that the variety of household assistants working within the DOE hasn’t grown previously ten years, even because the variety of children residing in shelters elevated by 40 %. The job pays simply $28,000 a 12 months, the teams added, making it tough to recruit and retain staff.
The 50 extra household assistants the Education Department already promised will help, however “are not nearly enough,” advocates wrote.
The federal stimulus cash is a one-time allocation, however advocates say it will be sufficient to pay the salaries of 150 shelter-based staffers for 2 years — lengthy sufficient to make “a far-reaching impact in addressing chronic absenteeism during the Mayor’s first term.”
The advocates additionally pushed the DOE to transfer ahead with plans to hire a further 4 “regional managers” accountable for overseeing providers for homeless students throughout school districts.
A DOE spokeswoman identified that as well as to the 117 household assistants already on staff, the company has 200 school-based neighborhood coordinators and social employees devoted to working with homeless students.