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Budget, Education & City Services

Resolution Opposing 60-Day Limitation on Shelter Stays for Families of Public School Students

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, January 11, 2024, the following resolution passed with a vote of 35 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, On October 11, 2023, Mayor Eric Adams announced that New York City would limit shelter stays for families with children to 60 calendar days (the “60-Day Rule”), after which families would need to reapply for city shelters if they have nowhere else to live; and

WHEREAS, The re-application means that families will likely be moved to another shelter, with no control over their location within the city; and 

WHEREAS, A joint statement issued by the Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless specifically condemned the 60-Day Rule, stating:

  1. This plan will disrupt the lives of homeless students and create chaos for their schools, as parents are forced to choose between re-enrolling or spending the day traveling across the city to their current school. That’s a terrible outcome for both families and educators; and 

WHEREAS, Many students residing in shelters have already experienced significant disruptions to their education, compounded by the trauma experienced as a result of displacement, migration, and ongoing instability; and

WHEREAS, Under the 60-Day Rule, children could be forced to change schools up to five times per school year; and

WHEREAS, The only way for schools to receive the necessary funding for new students enrolling after the October 31 cut-off date is through an arduous appeals process which creates uncertainty and delays for school staff and the students they serve; and 

WHEREAS, In order to appropriately serve students in temporary housing, schools need additional resources and personnel, including bilingual staff, nurses, and social workers; and

WHEREAS, Under the 60-Day Rule, families who re-apply for shelter may be forced to move to new shelters far from their children’s school of origin, causing significant disruption to both students’ educational progress and schools’ budgeting, planning, and allocation of resources and personnel; and

WHEREAS, Schools will not have the appropriate time or funding to serve students with Individualized Education Plans; and

WHEREAS, Although children are entitled to stay in their current school, relocation may lead to extreme school commutes, creating an emotional and financial burden for students and their families; and

WHEREAS, School bus delays have been endemic over the last several years, causing additional hardship on students who seek to continue to attend their school of origin after being moved to a new shelter; and 

WHEREAS, A review of relevant research underscores that there are significant negative effects on student outcomes as a result of involuntary and/or unplanned movement between schools, including but not limited to decreases in test scores and high school graduation rates, with the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness found that as of the 2016-17 school year among homeless students, those who experienced no instability factors had almost twice the rate of ELA proficiency as those who were chronically absent (25% vs. 14%) or transferred mid-year (25% vs. 12%) and among homeless students who were chronically absent and transferred schools mid-year, more than one in four, 29%, dropped out; and

WHEREAS, This was over seven times the rate of homeless students with no instability factors (4%) and only 56% of students who were homeless at some point in high school graduated within four years; and 

WHEREAS, When homeless students were able to attend school regularly and did not have to transfer mid-year during any of their years of high school, they graduated at rates similar to their housed peers (90% vs. 96%), and well above the citywide graduation rate of 74%; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five acknowledges that this resolution prioritizes unhoused families over unhoused people without children and we take this action to ensure children receive consistent and stable access to education during the course of the school year; and

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, Community Board Five  urges Chancellor David C. Banks and the Panel for Educational Policy to encourage Mayor Eric Adams to waive the 60-Day Rule for families with children in NYC Public Schools, in order to protect the emotional and educational wellbeing of unhoused children; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Manhattan Community Board Five urges the Mayor of the City of New York to advance and fund measures to more quickly move all of those living in the shelter system, not just families with children, into permanent housing.

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