Photo: Edwin Martínez / Impremedia
Just as negotiations on the City’s budget for fiscal year 2022 between the City Council and the Blasio Administration, which must be approved before June 30, parents, students and activists stood in front of the headquarters of the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to denounce that that agency has failed immigrant students and English language learners (ELL), before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With harangues and banners they also demanded that more resources be invested in this group of students and that a specific plan be published to address the needs of students in the future, including reducing class sizes, expanding community schools and special education services.
Murad Awawdeh, director of the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) called on the Mayor Bill de Blasio, al DOE Yet the Chancellor of Education Meisha Porter, to ensure that the City’s budget provides sufficient funding and an academic recovery plan that does not continue to leave the most vulnerable students behind and provides quality education.
“Immigrant students were already fighting long before the COVID-19 pandemicBut the devastation of the past year has only exacerbated this disparity, ”said the activist. “The remote learning environment left immigrant families and students isolated from their schools and teachers, and further increased communication challenges for immigrant families without access to the language, technology, and other support services necessary for students to have access to. success in school ”.
Carlyn CowenDirector of policy and public affairs for the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC), made a strong signal to the DOE and warned that it is urgent to invest in immigrant students and families.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has set our students backespecially our immigrant and low-income students with remote learning. It is inconceivable that there is nothing in the budget for immigrant education and to address the culturally incompetent curriculum, ”he said. Cowen. “For New Yorkers to collectively recover from this pandemic, we must ensure that there are sufficient funds allocated to support and empower our immigrant students, as well as their families.”
Aracelis Lucero, director of the MASA organization, stressed that in the midst of the pandemic and even before, the DOE has abandoned parents with limited English proficiency, as well as immigrant children and asked the City to reach into its pockets and invest in initiatives equitable.
“It is discouraging and alarming see that the current executive budget does not include a specific line to address academic recovery or support for immigrant families when billions of dollars have been awarded to this city specifically for academic purposes, “said the young woman of Mexican origin.
“The needs of our immigrant and undocumented communities are often not seen or heard in this cityhowever, they play a critical role in our economy as essential workers, working in the construction and food service industries, as delivery men, cleaning and providing childcare for many of those who had the luxury of working from home. ” , Lucero added.
DOE assures support to immigrants
Before the claims, the Department of Education He assured that he is committed to supporting immigrant students and their families, and stressed that they are investing in the implementation of more programs.
“We will provide opportunities to accelerate learning and assess the needs of all students, especially our English language learners and immigrant families, as we recover from the impact of the pandemic,” assured Sarah Casasnovas, DOE spokeswoman. “We are investing in specific summer supports for our students who need it most, and our historic investment in fair funding for students will go directly to supporting the unique needs of these students.”
Among the plans cited by the DOE are the association with organizations to provide learning opportunities to children with little English and their families, literacy, college credit courses, as well as the program Fair Student Financing (FSF), which ensures equity and provides supplemental funds to schools with English language learners to address their needs, with an investment of $ 600 million for the upcoming school year.
They also ensure that they provide counseling supports, with more than 300 bilingual school counselors in schools and interpreting.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.