The 74: The Homeless Student Population Is Exploding. Will New Focus on Performance Save Them?
“Every time a student transfers to a new school, they’re set back academically by up to six months, according to a recent report by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness, and homeless students in New York City transfer to new schools about three times as often as children with stable housing.
In New York City, more and more children are facing the most extreme form of instability and poverty—homelessness. The new report provides a detailed picture of homelessness within the city's educational system: where homeless students go to school, what kinds of support they may need, what their academic outcomes look like, and what the lasting impacts of homelessness are educationally—even after a student's housing instability has ended.
Educators have long known the negative effect that housing instability can have on a child's education, but this policy brief suggests that these effects do not end when a student is stably housed. This brief looks at the educational outcomes of homeless and formerly homeless students during the 2013–14 school year and the implications these outcomes have for education policy in New York City.
School absences are pervasive across New York City. Almost one in five New York City public school elementary students (19%) were chronically absent in SY 2013-14, missing 20 days or more of school. Worse, homeless elementary students were chronically absent at roughly twice the rate of elementary students overall. This report examines the disparities in absenteeism and its impact on educational achievement, comparing homeless students and their housed peers, regardless of family income level.