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Op-ed | NYC must not forget educational needs of homeless children

08.25.2020 | amNewYork | Despite the best efforts of educators, the transition to remote instruction proved disastrous for many of the 100,000 City students who are living in shelter or temporarily staying with friends or relatives because they lost their housing. Even before the pandemic, fewer than a third of the City’s students who were without a home were reading proficiently, and only 61% graduated high school in four years, 18 percentage points lower than the graduation rate for their permanently housed peers.

As a new school year approaches, the City must develop a coordinated, inter-agency plan to support the one in ten students who are without permanent housing—a population that will likely grow even larger unless government leaders step up to provide rental assistance for the more than one million city renters who have fallen into arrears this year.

The City must recognize that learning from home is inherently far more difficult when you don’t have a permanent home. Families experiencing homelessness may have multiple children of varying ages, grade levels, and learning needs confined to a single small room, making it challenging to concentrate on schoolwork. Read article