As City Responds to Coronavirus, Immigration Advocates Highlight Importance of School Meals, Other Supports for Low-Income and Immigrant NYers 

New York, NY—As part of New York City’s response to COVID-19, the city closed two South Bronx schools Thursday morning and additional schools on Friday. In response to this situation, Kim Sykes, Director of Education Policy, New York Immigration Coalition issued the following statement:

“We applaud Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Carranza, and City Council leaders for recognizing that many New York families rely on schools for more than their children's educational needs, including  access to health care, meals, and other essential supports. We know that protecting the health of school communities is absolutely vital, and we appreciate the State Education Department’s joint closure-related guidance and waiver to provide meals to help schools navigate a rapidly-evolving situation. Additionally, we urge districts across the state to ensure that critical updates are quickly provided to school communities in families’ home language and closing schools provide instructional materials that are accessible to all, including Multilingual/English Language Learners. Schools should not rely on remote or distance learning unless the district has already provided all students with access to technology and the necessary materials. Schools can remain a lifeline to their families by continuing to provide information, access to meals, and connecting those in need to health, legal, and other supportive resources. Finally, we encourage impacted districts to extend critical deadlines for parents—such as the application period for Pre-K in New York City—so all families can benefit from these important opportunities.”