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AFC in the News

11.18.2022 | CBS New York | "This is definitely an issue in New York City, and we've been seeing it for years and years," said Dawn Yuster, with Advocates for Children of New York. Yuster is director of the School Justice Project with Advocates for Children of New York. 

"There is no comprehensive system that ensures that all schools can effectively support students' behavioral, emotional and mental health needs," she said. Watch video

11.17.2022 | The CITY | It’s a common trajectory for young people with emotional disabilities, who make up close to half the students enrolled at schools in New York City’s juvenile detention centers and in the Rikers Island jail, according to data from the Independent Budget Office. “There’s a school-to-prison pipeline for these kids,” said Dawn Yuster, an attorney who directs the School Justice Project at the community group Advocates for Children. Read article

11.08.2022 | Gothamist | “I think we can glean from the data that there has been a significant influx of students and families into the New York City shelter who've recently arrived to this country and that many of the schools where they’re enrolled were not prepared for that influx. Nor was the shelter system,” said Jennifer Pringle, of Advocates for Children. 

Pringle, with Advocates for Children, said the schools and shelters that received the asylum-seekers face a daunting challenge.

“They are not funded or staffed to be refugee resettlement agencies,” she said. “So when you have a huge influx of families who don't have any support network in this country … that puts a tremendous strain on the shelter system as well as schools to meet the immediate needs of families.” Read article

10.26.2022 | PIX 11 | New York City has committed to hiring 100 shelter-based Department of Education Community Coordinators this year to help families navigate the school system, resolve barriers to regular attendance, and connect students in shelter with needed supports. However, a month and a half into the school year, at a time when the shelter system is at a breaking point, none of these staff have been hired, according to Advocates for Children. 

Jennifer Pringle, project director of AFC's Project LIT, emphasized the community coordinators.  "Rather than waiting for a student to be absent a week, two weeks, and then you're looking at a really big problem, it's proactively reaching out to parents to find out what's going on: is this a busing issue? Is this a commuting issue? Is this a special education issue, a child care issue?" Watch video

10.26.2022 | The New York Times | Jennifer Pringle, who works at Advocates for Children of New York, a nonprofit that collects the data on homeless students annually, said that the system must meet the needs of the newcomers, “while not losing sight of the longstanding issues” facing local children who are homeless. 

“If we want to break this intergenerational cycle of poverty and homelessness, we have to make sure we’re prioritizing education of students in temporary housing,” said Ms. Pringle, the director of the organization’s Learners in Temporary Housing project. “The outcomes are just awful, and without a coordinated, targeted response, we’re not going to see a change.” Read article

10.26.2022 | Politico (Pro) | “The city needs to address the housing crisis,” Jennifer Pringle, director of AFC’s Project LIT (Learners in Temporary Housing), said in an interview. “The city also must ensure that students who are homeless have access to school and the supports they need to be successful in school, especially given the educational outcomes for students experiencing homelessness.” Read article

10.26.2022 | NY Post | “There’s a lot of attention right now on newly arrived families, as there should be, and there were more than 100,000 students experiencing homelessness before this recent influx,” said Jennifer Pringle, who leads Advocates for Children’s work on student homelessness. 

 “While the mayor works to address the housing crisis and families seeking asylum, he has to ensure that kids in temporary housing have access to school,” Pringle added. 

The DOE still hasn’t put in place an interim executive director since the office head said he was leaving more than a month ago — a memo earlier this month showed a group of regional directors are leading that team for now. 

And the agency has yet to hire 100 shelter-based DOE staffers to work year-round, despite allocating part of its budget for those positions last spring — though central staffer Flavia Puello-Perdomo told The Post last week it would hire the first 50 by the end of this month. 

“They say it’s a priority, so let’s see it,” said Pringle.

“If this is a priority, why don’t you have a director responsible for the team supporting students in temporary housing?” she added. “It’s so critical that we get those positions filled — even in the interim.” Read article

10.26.2022 | City & State | Last school year, there were enough New York City public school students who experienced homlessness to nearly fill Yankee Stadium twice over. And it was the seventh year in a row that was the case. That’s according to a new report from Advocates for Children of New York, which found the number of students without a stable home at some point during the year increased by 3% during the 2021-2022 school year to 104,000 kids – even as overall enrollment in the system declined. 

“The (Department of Education) needs to ensure the new migrant students entering the shelter system are enrolled in schools that can meet their needs, while not losing sight of the longstanding issues facing the tens of thousands of students who were already homeless,” Jennifer Pringle, director of Advocates for Children’s Learners in Temporary Housing Project, said in a press release.  Read article

10.26.2022 | NY1 | At least 104,000 students experienced homelessness at some point during the 2021-2022 school year, up from 101,000 the previous year, a report released by Advocates for Children of New York on Wednesday found. 

More than 29,000 of those 104,000 children stayed in city shelters, while 69,000 shared someone else’s home “because of a loss of housing or economic hardship,” the report said. 

Nearly 5,500 students, meanwhile, reported “living in cars, parks or abandoned buildings,” according to the report. 

It was the seventh year in a row that the number of students experiencing homelessness stood in the six figures, the report noted, adding that the total “may have been an undercount, as the pandemic and remote learning likely made it more difficult for schools to identify changes to students’ housing situations.” Read article

10.26.2022 | Chalkbeat NY | A total 104,383 children lacked permanent housing last school year across district and charter schools, according to an annual report released by Advocates For Children New York, an organization that advocates on behalf of the city’s highest needs students. 

“If these 100,000 children made up their own school district, it would be a district larger than 99.5% of all other districts nationwide,” Kim Sweet, executive director of Advocates for Children, said in a statement. “While the city works to address the underlying issue of homelessness, we also must ensure that students who are homeless get to class every day and receive the targeted supports they need to succeed in school.” Read article