New York City public schools may be facing an impending financial crisis as they prepare to accommodate the influx of migrant families and their children who will attend Department of Education (DOE) schools.
According to City Comptroller Brad Lander, an estimated 19,000 migrants have arrived in the city recently, which includes approximately 5,500 students who have entered NYC DOE schools.
“These children – who have little English proficiency, varying degrees of grade level readiness, possible special education needs, and extreme trauma to overcome – need extensive academic and social emotional support,” Lander said in an Oct. 18 statement. “Chancellor Banks, the NYC [DOE], parent volunteers, and the dedicated education professionals in our schools deserve praise for working hard to welcome them with open arms and rising to this challenge.”
To help support the influx of migrant students entering DOE schools, Comptroller Lander’s office estimated that NYC public schools needed to allocate $34 million to Fair Student Funding (FSF) – the main source of funding for most schools.
Amounts of money allocated through FSF to specific schools is decided by input from the School Leadership Team, a collective of school principals who then make decisions regarding funding distribution and spending to meet educational needs.
“Schools doing this critical work to embrace these new students cannot stretch their current resources until federal funding arrives,” Comptroller Lander said on Tuesday. “The City should immediately allocate $34 million of Fair Student Funding to enable principals to staff up to serve their new students.”
Despite the Comptroller’s office reporting findings that indicated that DOE schools would have to allocate at least $34 million in FSF to support these new students, a NYC DOE spokesperson responded to the Comptroller’s claims, saying they were incorrect.
Instead, the spokesperson said that the DOE budget has already provided $25 million in response to higher student enrollment, with more funding and resources to come.
To read more about the Comptroller’s FY 2023 School Budget analysis visit the comptroller’s website, comptroller.nyc.gov.