Not Reaching the Door: Homeless Students Face Many Hurdles on the Way to School

Not Reaching the Door: Homeless Students Face Many Hurdles on the Way to School

IBO has previously documented in our annual compendium of public school facts and figures the growing number of students who live in temporary housing—in the city’s homeless shelters, doubled up in apartments with other families, residing in hotels or motels, awaiting foster care placement, or other transitory situations. There was a 25 percent increase in the number of temporarily housed youth attending schools run by the city’s education department from school year 2010-2011 through 2013- 2014, when the number totaled roughly 83,000. Along with the growth in the number of school-aged youth living in temporary housing is a growing recognition that housing instability can affect students’ education.

The challenges many temporarily housed students face begin before the school bell rings in the morning and continue throughout the school day and into the evening. Those bearing the greatest burdens are the students living in the city’s homeless shelters—who comprised more than a third of the temporarily housed students in school year 2013-2014. This report focuses on some of the challenges these students face as a consequence of living in city shelters.

The first obstacle for homeless students is often simply being able to get to school— attendance rates are much lower for students in shelters and a much greater share are categorized as “chronically absent.” We looked at some of the factors contributing to low attendance by these students. 

ORGANIZATION: New York City Independent Budget Office
PUBLICATION DATE: 2016
LOCATION: New York City, NY, USA