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1 in 10 public school students in New York City was homeless at some point during 2016-17

Oct. 10, 2017
State statistics say more than 111,000 students were homeless during the last academic year

One in every 10 students in the New York City public school system was homeless at some point during the 2016-17 school year, according to new state data.

The New York Times reports that more than 111,500 students in New York City schools were homeless during the last academic year, a 6 percent increase over the year before. Of the overall figure, 104,000 students attended regular district public schools, and the rest were in charter schools. Statewide, 148,000 students were homeless, or about 5 percent of the state’s public school population.

The statistics come from the New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students, a project of Advocates for Children of New York funded by the state Education Department.

Not all students who are considered homeless live in shelters. Students in temporary housing include families living in their cars or in hotels, or those “doubled up” with family or friends.

The upheaval in the home lives of students in temporary housing often follows them into school. Many of them frequently change schools as they bounce from one temporary living situation to another. Many are placed in shelters far from their original school, which means they must either transfer midyear or commute long distances each day. Many students regularly arrive late or miss days of school altogether.

Those stresses harm their academic performance. A report from by the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness found that homeless students passed the state English tests at about half the rate as their peers who had permanent homes. On average, the report found that one-third of homeless students miss the equivalent of a month of school.

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