New York (WABC)—— As New York City continues to struggle to accommodate an influx of asylum-seeking families, city officials are trying to manage the number of children who will be enrolled during public hours for the next school year.
On Wednesday, New York City school superintendent David Banks provided an update on how the system plans to enter its second year to manage the influx of students due to the immigration crisis.
“Since July 2022, nearly 19,000 students have been enrolled in schools across all five of our boroughs,” Banks said.
Helping with this daunting task is Project Open Arms, a blueprint launched last year to provide assistance with school admissions, mental health, transportation and translation services.
“The Open Arms project has definitely played a big part in our success to date,” Banks said.
The Department of Education is also adding 3,400 English as a Second Language teachers and 1,700 bilingual teachers for this school year.
“We are working closely with the superintendent and the principal to identify neighboring schools that have seating and resources available,” said Melissa Aviles-Ramos, director of the principal’s office.
Banks added that the city has also been in meetings with the Federation of Teachers, also known as UFT, as well as the state government, and will soon announce plans to bring in more Spanish teachers.
While progress is being made, a continuing challenge is that enrollment rates are unpredictable.
Every day 600 migrants arrive and are housed in shelters across the city, where they are supposed to attend schools in these communities. However, these schools have reached or exceeded capacity.
“Some schools are getting a little more than their fair share of credits,” Banks said. “They’re getting more than others because some of that is driven by where the temporary housing is, so in those places, we’re trying really hard efforts to alleviate this situation.”
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