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  • The New Kids: For one asylum-seeking student, school is ‘therapy’

    Dec 6, 2023

    Mariangel Vargas and her parents came to New York in October, and like many of her newly arrived peers, her journey from Colombia was traumatic.
    Spectrum News NY1

    NY1 | “For so many families, for so many students, school is the one source of stability when everything else is unstable, unknown, ever-changing,” Jennifer Pringle, project director at Advocates for Children, told NY1.

    But soon, that, too, may be upended.

    Mayor Adams has announced plans to limit some family shelter stays to sixty days. Families will either need to move out, or be moved to another shelter. Under federal law, homeless children have the right to remain in the same school, and be bused there.

    “No child is going to be displaced or their school is going to be interrupted,” Adams insisted during a press conference on Oct. 16.

    But the city already struggles to staff the school bus routes it currently has. And if a family is moved a borough or two away, the school bus or subway ride back to their old school may be so difficult that families feel they have no choice but to change schools.

    “I think that is a right in name only. I think it’s magical thinking that kids will be able to stay in their same school under those types of circumstances,” Pringle said. Watch video