Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has been trying for years to decrease the number of homeless families. This problem is very actual these days, as it creates a crisis situation for the whole city, where a great number of people just don’t have a place to live. The two reports were made and it was stated there how much should be undertaken to address this problem.
Scott M. Stringer, the New York City comptroller, examines and analyzes how the education department deals with the matter. By doing his own research, Mr Stringer came to the conclusion that the department of education is doing nothing for improving this situation. They cannot even contact students` parents when the first are absent. Students may be absent for a long period of time. However, nothing will be done.
The number of homeless students in New York has increased enormously since 2015-16 till 2016-17 school year. More than 111,500 students are considered to be homeless.
However, we should also understand that homeless students are also those who are living in extremely extended families and have to spend their nights sleeping in cars or hotels, those who live in the shelters. Mr. Stringer’s audit focused on students living in their shelters.
In order to conduct a research, there were chronically chosen 73 absent students who lived in shelters. The comptroller’s office managed to examine the attendance record of each student and see how many efforts were put to keep those students at school and encourage them somehow. According to the study, students were absent at school an enormous number of days, 41.6 days each during a 178-day school year. It is believed that the education department is obliged to contact a parent from the first day a student didn’t appear for classes. The audit stated that 92 percent of the time this requirement was just ignored.
In response to this, Olivia Lapeyrolerie, a spokeswoman for Mr. de Blasio, claimed that there should be created a system which connects the education and homeless services departments. It was also said by Ms. Lapeyrolerie that they are all doing their best to improve the current situation by investing school and shelter programming.
Students with no permanent place for living tend to have less skills and abilities comparing to their peers. Their performance in different learning areas is poor. Most of the homeless students have no choice to graduate. This all is because they do not spend enough time in their educational establishments. In addition, they are not provided with favorable conditions for studying.
The education department, in schools and shelters equally, is also responsible for minimizing student absences. However, the comptroller’s office found that the created rules are not always followed, they are just ignored in the majority of cases. The education department should make a great number of changes to improve the situation, by following all set regulations.
There was a paper released by Advocates for Children of New York and the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, where Mr. de Blasio was asked hire more skillful and experienced social workers to work in shelters. It will provide students with a greater amount of support and attention they need.