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AFC in the News

03.27.2020 | Chalkbeat NY | Advocates have called on the city to offer care to a broader range of students, especially those who are experiencing homelessness, and continued to do so Friday.

“We continue to urge the city to deliver on its promise to support ‘our most vulnerable student populations’ during this difficult time by offering the empty REC seats to students who are homeless who need a safe learning environment,” said Randi Levine, policy director for Advocates for Children New York, in a statement. Read article

03.26.2020 | Brooklyn Paper | "Every day of education matters. We know that students who are homeless, and students in foster care have worse educational outcomes than their peers — they are already less likely to be proficient in reading, and more likely to drop out of school,” said Randi Levine, a policy director with Advocates for Children of New York. “So, we do worry that any further gap in their education is going to set them further behind.” Read article

03.23.2020 | Bklyner | There are about 114,000 students in New York City’s public schools who live in shelters, are doubled-up in cramped apartments, or otherwise lack stable housing. About a dozen advocacy groups sent the chancellor a letter on Friday calling on the city to allow those children to be cared for at the centers.

“Picture a parent of children at multiple grade levels spending their time in a hotel room. That’s not an appropriate space for learning,” said Randi Levine, policy director at Advocates for Children, which signed on to the letter. (Some homeless families are housed in commercial hotels.)

“Students who are homeless have worse education outcomes than their permanently housed peers and we’re very concerned they’re going to fall further behind in the coming weeks,” Levine added. Read article

03.23.2020 | Gothamist | “When the mayor and chancellor first announced they’d be closing schools, they announced there would be regional enrichment centers for the children of emergency workers and vulnerable students,” said Randi Levine, policy director at the nonprofit Advocates for Children. “But at this time children who are homeless don’t have access.” 

There are as many as 100,000 students who experience homelessness during the school year, including many doubled or tripled up in apartments with other families or living in hotels.

“That means there are parents with potentially multiple children at different grade levels trying to learn while sitting on a bed in a room,” she said.

She said homeless students already lag behind their peers in educational outcomes. “We’re worried about these students falling further behind in the coming weeks.” Read article

03.20.2020 | NY Daily News | “Every day that goes by where children are not receiving educational services is an opportunity missed,” said Randi Levine, policy director for Advocates for Children. “We are very worried about children who are homeless falling further behind.” Read article

03.20.2020 | Chalkbeat NY | About a dozen advocacy groups sent the chancellor a letter on Friday calling on the city to allow those children to be cared for at the centers. “Picture a parent of children at multiple grade levels spending their time in a hotel room. That’s not an appropriate space for learning,” said Randi Levine, policy director at Advocates for Children, which signed on to the letter. (Some homeless families are housed in commercial hotels.) “Students who are homeless have worse education outcomes than their permanently housed peers and we’re very concerned they’re going to fall further behind in the coming weeks,” Levine added. Read article

03.20.2020 | News Decoder | With New York’s public schools shut down until at least late April, the pandemic risks exacerbating class disparities among the young. Students from wealthier families can learn via video conferencing technology and resort to private tutors, while such costly options are not widely available to the needier. There are 114,000 homeless children in New York City, according to a 2019 report by the not-for-profit Advocates for Children of New York. Many of these children receive food at school. Read article

03.12.2020 | VICE News | “For hundreds of thousands of students, school may be the one place where they are guaranteed hot meals and medical care,” said Kim Sweet, the executive director of Advocates for Children of New York. “We know that as the city weighs the possible benefits of school closure, they're also weighing the possible risks of temporarily shattering critical social service centers." Read article

03.10.2020 | NY City Lens | This year, more than 1,900 preschoolers with special needs were left behind, without a spot in a special needs classroom, according to a January 2020 report by Advocates for Children. More than 40 percent of those students live in the Bronx, a borough historically marked by poverty and a lack of community resources. When it came time to start Pre-K, Melody was just one of the 798 special needs students in the Bronx without a seat. Read article

03.09.2020 | NY Daily News | “Last school year, more than one in four students in New York City had to change schools after entering foster care,” advocates said in a letter Friday to various city agencies, including the Administration for Children’s Services and the Education Department, noting that the disruption of changing schools compounds the trauma of entering the foster system.

“No student in foster care should be forced to change schools due to lack of transportation,” the groups added. Read article