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Homeless grade-schoolers in New York state will get $7M in new supports


Homeless students in grade schools across New York state may see extra support over the next few years.

State Education Commissioner Betty Rosa announced on Wednesday that 27 school districts have been awarded about $7 million dollars in federal grants to help students without permanent homes.

Rosa said in a statement that funding for McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Programs in some school districts will be used in part to connect students to tutoring, health care, and to establish studying spaces in shelters.

“Students should be free to learn without anxiety or fear of their temporary housing status,” Rosa said. “These grants will be used to ease some of those concerns, so students are better able to focus on learning.”

Rochester city school district will receive $250,000 a year for the next three years. Greece, Oswego, and Sodus school districts will each receive $125,000 in the same time span.

“The pandemic and economic turmoil that came with it exacerbated uncertainty for many families and increased the number of students who face housing insecurity,” Chancellor Lester Young Jr said in a statement.

“Using this funding, schools and districts are better able to ensure that our state’s homeless children have equal access to the same educational opportunities as their peers.”

The State Education Department expects more than 116,500 students across New York state could see support through this funding.

Noelle E. C. Evans is an education reporter/producer with a background in documentary filmmaking and education.