NYC Schools Facing Challenges with Migrant Children

Caitlin Sinclair – OAN National Correspondent
UPDATED 12:58 PM PT – Thursday, August 18, 2022

New York City’s Education Department is facing a logistical nightmare as the start of the school year approaches: registering potentially thousands of recently-arrived migrant children for school, all in less than a month.

City officials estimate more than 4,000 migrants have made it to New York and filled city homeless shelters in recent weeks. Now, City Hall says they are putting together a “formal plan” to help these migrant children transition to Big Apple public schools . ​​

The Department of Education has not yet detailed or acknowledged how this plan will impact schools and New York City students, yet we can assume the impact will be heavily felt. 

It was also not immediately clear whether schools are ready to receive those students with the proper resources and staffing — from bilingual teachers to shelter-based staff — the resources needed are immense.

Department officials insist it’s an “all hands on deck” effort in partnership with other city agencies. Education Department spokeswoman Nicole Brownstein said in a statement​​​​

“Our staff are meeting incoming families at shelters to assist in school enrollment, establish support pathways for multilingual learners, and to provide resources and supplies to new students.” 

New York has long been a so-called sanctuary city that won’t turn immigrants away or over to officials upon their arrival.  However, the recent arrivals are confronting a lack of shelter or affordable housing options, forcing many to look at the reality of the city: the Big Apple can’t realistically handle them.

Even before the recent bus loads of illegals, New York’s shelters were already struggling with an influx of migrants on top of an already growing population. About 4,000 asylum seekers have entered the system in the past three months

“This is crazy,” said one DOE employee involved with enrolling the new families, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “There’s no uniform orders on what to do and no accountability in ensuring these young people are registered in schools and have the appropriate seats. There’s nothing systemic.”​​

The department and New York parents are now calling on the Biden administration to provide the systemwide coordination needed to match the scale of the challenge.…the challenge created by them. ​​

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Amber Coakley
Author: Amber Coakley

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