TESTIMONY: OVERSIGHT: Oversight: Support for Homeless Students
On October 11, 2017, CCC testified before the New York City Council General Welfare and Education Committees regarding the need for more support for homeless students. CCC also testified in support of several pieces of legislation aimed at providing data and strengthening programming all with a goal of ensuring homeless students are attending school and receiving the services they need.
CCC’s testimony urged the City to reorient the shelter system and the education system to be more proactive about helping homeless families with school-aged children. For the most part, these children are New York City public school children so CCC urged the school system to redouble its efforts to ensure these children are both getting to school and then having their needs met so that they are able to learn.
Some of CCC’s specific recommendations included:
Increasing the number of educational specialists available to help families year-round at their shelter sites and ensure staff have adequate supervision and accountability measures.
Improving and expediting transportation for homeless school children by providing monthly Metrocards (rather than weekly) and beginning to arrange for transportation during the eligibility process.
Ensuring homeless students have access to the services they need to be able to learn, particularly for students with IEPs.