The Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness (ICPH) has released a new report examining disparities in school suspension rates for students who are homeless. Explore the data further using the interactive tool below.
In New York City, there are 102 Suspension Hub schools serving nearly 3,500 homeless middle schoolers. These schools suspended more than 6.6% of their students overall in SY 2015–16—nearly three times the city’s rate of 2.5%—and their rate of suspension among homeless middle school students actually increased during the years since SY 2010–11. Understanding where Suspension Hubs are located represents an opportunity to offer these schools more supports and resources so that they, too, can turn the tide like the 83% of other schools with declining suspension rates.
Click on the map below to see where schools in your neighborhood rank.
Hover over schools to view the overall suspension rate and the percentage of students who are homeless (SY 2015–16). As you look through the map, notice that homeless students are more likely to attend schools with higher suspension rates. One in every five homeless students (19%) in middle school attend a Suspension Hub, but only half as many (10%) attend a school with a low suspension rate under 1.1%.
Understanding the dynamics of suspension hubs is a first step to avoid placing students on a path to disengagement and negatively affecting their academic performance and wage-earning potential.
Fortunately, schools such as Hamilton Grange Middle School (District 6) and P.S. 155 Nicholas Herkimer (District 23), where suspension rates fell below the citywide average (0.0% to 2.5%) despite having a homeless student population of at least 20%, are making strides to keep suspension rates low among homeless students.
The most effective response to behavior issues, particularly at suspension hub schools, requires that school administrators, principals, and teachers engage in more than exclusionary discipline. Without meaningful action—such as hiring additional guidance counselors, school psychologists, and social workers or connecting schools with education consultants who are effective in providing ongoing training in cultivating positive school climates—suspended homeless students are likely to perform poorly in school and possibly drop out. This is a cost that the NYC Department of Education cannot afford and that homeless students should not have to pay.