Many students within school District 2 and District 23 carry the burden of homelessness which creates a disparate stress in their daily reality that is not a consequence for students who do not experience homelessness. Many families struggle when they are financially burdened yet they often stay within their homes with their families intact, rather than being forced to rely on assistance for food and shelter as do families who are homeless. According to the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness, “citywide, 82,000 students attending New York City Public Schools were homeless in the 2014-15 school year, and one out of eight students had experienced homelessness at some point between the school year 2010-11 and 2014-15” (Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness). The chart at Appendix C, sets forth statistical information related to the struggles of homeless students, including absenteeism, and suspension and dropout rates throughout the City. Although District 23 represents fewer students in a much smaller area than District 2, just over half of homeless students are chronically absent, compared to one-third of homeless students in District 2. The suspension rates in both Districts are comparable but one quarter of homeless students in District 23 have dropped out during the 2014-15 school year and only 32.8% graduated compared to 57.0% in District 2. The differences are also evident in the math scores between both districts as 47.4% of District 2 homeless students passed math compared to 9.4% in District 23. Both school districts returned low scores in English Language Arts as 29.2% of District 2 students passed ELA test while 8.3% of District 23 students are proficient in ELA, so that the presence of poverty, experienced through homelessness, is formidable. The 2015 poverty guideline for one individual is $13,550 and for a family of four the poverty guideline is $27,890”[1]. These figures posit that large numbers of low-income students within both school districts could be potentially trapped into cycles of dependency and failure. Addressing the failure to adequately address the role of educating impoverished students is imperative, particularly when issues of survival are too stringent to overcome because it is at these junctures that futures may be lost. The inability of all students to fully partake in education portends the potential for becoming a dropout, which forebodes jeopardy to their futures. Unfortunately, rather than establishing resource and pedagogical rich communities, incarceration picks up the slack when education fails, demonstrating the role of failed educations in feeding the school to prison pipeline.

[1] Poverty guidelines are updated by the Census Bureau and are issued each year in the Federal Register by the Department of Health and Human Services.