A record 114,659 homeless or temporarily housed children attended New York City public schools during the 2017-2018 school year ― making up roughly 10 percent of the city’s public school students, according to newly released data.
The new figures released on Monday by the organization Advocates For Children of New York shows 66 percent more homeless students within the school district ― the nation’s largest in terms of enrollment ― since the 2010-2011 school year.
In New York state, there were 4,624 more homeless students than in the previous school year. In New York City, there were 3,097 more. In the borough of the Bronx, one district had 10,804 students living in temporary homes.
Students’ temporary homes included homeless and domestic abuse shelters, hotels, unsheltered areas like cars or parks, and the homes of other family members or friends ― a situation called “doubling up.”
“The number of students who are homeless in New York City would fill Yankee Stadium twice,” Kim Sweet, AFC’s executive director, said in a statement.
“While the City works to address the overwhelming problem of homelessness, it must take bold action to ensure that students who are homeless get an excellent education and do not get stuck in a cycle of poverty,” Sweet said.
According to a homelessness report compiled by the city, reasons behind the annual increase in homeless students include poverty, a loss of affordable housing and domestic violence ― longstanding issues the city has actively worked to fix for years, according to city officials.
“Our comprehensive plan to address the citywide challenge of homelessness is built around sheltering homeless New Yorkers closer to support networks, including schools, to preserve stability during challenging times,” Isaac McGinn, director of communications for the city’s Department of Homeless Services, told HuffPost in an email on Monday.
The city says the overall number of families with children staying in Department of Homeless Service shelters has decreased by 2,596 families since 2014. The city’s School Proximity Project, launched in July, has also transferred nearly 200 families to traditional shelters that are within five miles of their youngest school-aged child’s school. Since early 2016, it has also provided yellow bus service to all students in kindergarten through sixth grade who live in DHS shelters.
“We’ve made progress driving down the number of families in shelter, which has given us the flexibility to begin implementing this borough-based approach by offering hundreds of families who faced long commutes to school the opportunity to move closer to their youngest child’s classroom,” McGinn said.
A report compiled by the city comptroller’s office in March, reported on by the New York Times, found that the average homeless student misses more than a month’s worth of classes. It also found that the city’s education department failed to contact a parent to report the absence, as required, approximately 92 percent of the time.
The city has increased the number of social workers from 43 to 70 at elementary schools with the highest rates of students in temporary housing, Richard A. Carranza, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, told HuffPost in a statement on Monday. It is also investing $16 million annually.
“We will continue to expand and deepen our investments, and we will have more policy updates to share in the coming months,” he said.
New York City’s student enrollment dwarfs that of all other school districts in the country, including runners-up Los Angeles and Chicago.
According to The New York Times, which first reported on AFC’s data on Monday, about 5 percent of students in Chicago’s public schools were homeless last year and a little more than 3 percent of Los Angeles’ students were homeless in 2016.
The Times noted that though New York City has allocated millions to assist its homeless population, it hasn’t received much philanthropic funding, despite being a top city for philanthropy.
The Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation is reportedly the only organization that has donated more than $1 million to support the city’s homeless students in recent years.
9-year-old genius to graduate university
(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.
Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.
Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.
He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.
His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.
“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.
Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.
While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.
But Lydia has her own theory.
“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.
The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.
“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.
“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”
Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.
“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”
Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”
His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.
“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.
“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”
While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.
“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”
Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.
However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.
In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.
Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.
New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne
Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem
Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.
The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.
Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.
🚨WANTED for ASSAULT: on 11/6 at approx 3:43 PM in front of 128 West 112th St in Manhattan, a 32 yr old male was walking with his 8 yr old son when a white BMW jumped the curb & hit the father & son. The driver then got out and slashed the father. Call @NYPDTips with any info. pic.twitter.com/cwd79rcM4c
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) November 15, 2019
Father and son were both knocked through a gate.
The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.
One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.
McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.
McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.
Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.
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