Public education has undergone a seismic shift overnight due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We are grateful for New York City’s educators and school staff, who have risked their safety to teach youth, support families, and feed the hungry. However, on a systemic level, this unimaginable moment has underscored profound inequities in our school system and then compounded them. Our immigrant communities are incredibly resilient in a time of unprecedented hardship. Yet, we know that more must be done in order to support their unique needs. The NYIC has outlined steps to drive more equitable approaches.
To support New York City’s needs, the state must make critical investments to sustain our education systems. Expanding funding for our schools is essential for school districts to equitably and effectively respond and avoid devastating cuts to their budgets. Honoring all current contracts with Adult Literacy Education providers, and increasing funding for these programs moving forward is pivotal to support parents in navigating this crisis.
On the local level, more than 30 multi-ethnic groups active in the NYIC’s Education Collaborative have provided critical grassroots input to shape New York City-focused recommendations below. We thank the New York City Department of Education (DOE) for their partnership and for addressing other recommendations already made by the Education Collaborative, notably by expanding access to Regional Enrichment Centers. Yet much more must be done to ensure equity and full access for our immigrant youth and families.
Immigrant families are in crisis. Family members living in close proximity are sick, they’ve lost their jobs and have tremendous anxiety regarding food, housing, and other essentials. In order for students to be able to learn during this challenging time, they must be supported in accessing basic necessities. In addition, many Limited English Proficient (LEP) and low-digital literacy families are not receiving information and still lack devices.
See our full list of demands here.
To get involved, use our social media toolkit and call on elected officials to take action to protect immigrant families!