Homeless student enrollment in NYC schools jumps 70% from 2008

A whopping 86,694 homeless students are enrolled in city schools — a number that has steadily grown over the past few years, the Daily News has learned.

The newly compiled data from the nonprofit Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness shows only a slight dip compared to the 2013-14 school year, when 87,210 homeless kids were enrolled in city schools.

But the numbers for the 2014-15 school year, the latest year for which the data is available, numbers still show a 70 percent increase from the pre-recession, 2007-08 school year, when 50,926 homeless kids attended city schools.

Some 1.1 million kids are enrolled in the city schools, in total.

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ICPH policy analyst Jennifer Erb-Downward said even if slightly fewer homeless kids attended city schools for the latest year on record, those who were homeless in previous years still carried a burden of the experience.

“Not only are currently homeless students struggling in school, but students who have been homeless in the past are struggling just the same,” Erb-Downward said.

Stats show kids who experience homelessness at some point in their lives are more likely to be absent from class and transfer schools, Erb-Downward said.

And those kids are less likely to meet grade-level standards for reading and math, and graduate on time, Erb-Downward added.

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The ICPH data includes traditional district schools as well as charter schools and comes from the state Education Department, which is mandated by federal law to collect the information.

The data show more homeless students attended city schools each year starting in 2007-08, until the total dropped in 2014-15.

City shelters posted similar gains in numbers of residents each year, but the shelters did not post a similar decline from 2013-14 to 2014-25, city Department of Homeless services figures show.

City Education Department officials said the homeless school enrollment numbers include students living doubled-up in improvised arrangements with family members or friends, while the shelter numbers do not.

Number of homeless students in city schools spikes

Jennifer Pringle, a project director at the nonprofit Advocates for Children of New York, said the decrease in 2014-15 homeless enrollment numbers doesn’t necessarily mean the homeless crisis in the city schools is over.

“Once we see the data from the 2015-16 school year, we’ll see if this is a sustained trend or a just one-time decrease,” Pringle said.

City schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said the de Blasio administration has spent nearly $30 million on new services for homeless students, including literacy programs inside shelters and additional health care and mental health care services in schools.

“Students in temporary housing are among our most vulnerable populations, and we are dedicated to ensuring they receive the same equitable and excellent education as their permanently housed peers,” Fariña said.

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