“There is a looming youth mental health crisis that must be addressed, and the professionals who educate our children have the knowledge and skills to help our young people. Suspending struggling youth only compounds the crisis, and we must reimagine school discipline to ensure that all students, regardless of race or ability, can thrive in their schools.”
The Fair Student Funding Formula, used to distribute the majority of New York City’s education budget to each of its 1,600 public schools, has been criticized for failing to provide enough funds to students who need it most, including those in temporary housing and in the foster care system. A working group has until the end of October to recommend changes.
Supporters of the legislation, which would require the city to fund the placement of mental health professionals on-site at all homeless shelters with children, say it would increase access to care for families experiencing the crisis of housing insecurity. But some advocates worry it could inadvertently ensnare more low-income families in the child welfare system.
Citywide, workers at nonprofits under contract to provide support and essential services to New Yorkers at a time of unprecedented crisis say they feel overworked, overwhelmed and burnt out. As costs continue to increase around them, many have said their low wages make it difficult to justify staying in the sector, even with a recent pay bump from the city and state.
“While states like New York emphasize supporting vulnerable women and children as a priority, there has been too little focus on the need to improve the child support system to do so—especially within family courts. Instead, these courts—which handle hundreds of thousands of cases per year—have been historically neglected.”
At a virtual rally on Sunday, parents, young people and advocates in the city and across the state shared stories about the impact of the pandemic and renewed calls for elected officials to invest more in behavioral health programs and services for children and teens, which experts say have been underfunded for years and are now at a breaking point, with increased demand spurred by the coronavirus crisis.
Advocates want the city to take a more proactive approach to lead paint inspections and enforcement, saying the current system contains loopholes that allow property owners to skirt the rules. Their push comes as the Health Department considers lowering the childhood lead-level threshold that would automatically trigger an investigation.
‘As a young woman who has been in and out of the foster care system my whole life, I’ve had to face many challenging situations alone before my Fair Futures Coach Jaime changed my life entirely.’
“It’s known as the summer slide, or summer setback. That period of just over two months when our children are out of school, when learning diminishes—and often disproportionately impacts youth from historically disadvantaged groups. This summer is a chance to reverse that trend.”
Opinion: Increased Police Presence in Schools Will Only Help Strengthen the School-to-Prison Pipeline
“Though society is scared and grieving, we cannot allow the knee jerk reaction to the devastating mass shooting in Uvalde to ignore the systemic, policy, and evidence-based realities and root causes of gun violence.”