Volunteers in New York City assisting migrants arriving by bus from Texas say the city’s education system is unprepared for migrant children and desperately needs additional resources to accommodate them.
New York City schools are expecting roughly 1,000 migrant students who will start school in the next few weeks. The increase in students comes amid a national teacher shortage.
Rita Rodriguez-Engberg, director of Advocates for Children of New York, says there is not enough staff at New York City schools who speak migrant students’ languages and will be unable to help them and their families. The director adds “It’s also a bigger challenge for students who are in a shelter and families who are in shelter, because they experience a whole different level of hardship and discrimination in their shelters. We want to make sure that when they’re in school, they’re not feeling that way.”
David C. Banks, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, disputes claims from migrant support groups that they’re not prepared. Banks said “Our public schools are prepared to welcome families seeking asylum with open arms. We are working alongside our agency partners to set students up for success by addressing their academic, emotional and social needs, and ensuring there is no disruption to their education.” However, Banks did acknowledge the city will move to seek reimbursement from the federal government for educational costs for the migrants.