New York City grapples with influx of new asylum-seeking students

New York City grapples with influx of new asylum-seeking students

As New York City grapples with how to better support the influx of students from asylum-seeking families hailing from South American countries, schools are looking for more bilingual educators and social workers.

They’re also trying to get clothes and food to families in need.

But getting there isn’t simple. At least 5,500 new students living in shelters have enrolled, whom officials believe are largely newcomer immigrants, though their immigration status is not tracked by the education department. Given the additional students, schools should receive, at minimum, an additional $34 million in funding, Comptroller Brad Lander said Tuesday.

Before this school year began, officials had expected about 1,000 children would enroll, though they expected that figure to grow. Now, as nearly six times that number of newcomer students have arrived, officials are scrambling to tackle a raft of challenges at the school level, including a shortage of Spanish-speaking staff.

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