Advocates and City Council members rallied Thursday to call on Education Department officials to double the number of social workers for homeless students.
A record 111,562 city students were homeless or living in temporary housing in the 2016-17 school year, and they struggle in school compared with their peers in stable housing.
City Council Education Committee Chairman Mark Treyger joined Christine Quinn, the CEO of the homeless nonprofit WIN, and others at City Hall to provide better support for homeless students — starting with more social workers.
According to Education Department officials, there are currently 43 city social workers dedicated to serving homeless students, with plans to add 53 as soon as July.
Treyger, Quinn and their allies want at least 100 school social workers, which they say will cost the city $7 million annually.
Treyger said it’ll be money well-spent.
“When you have a licensed social worker placed in a school, there can be adequate followup,” he said.
Quinn, a former City Council speaker, said the city can afford to spend $7 million to make sure social workers are available for homeless students.
“This is such an easy solution,” she said. “It makes no sense that that this isn’t already funded.”
Education Department spokeswoman Miranda Barbot said the city has increased its investment in services for students in shelters to $11.9 million for fiscal year 2019.