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NYSSBA: Some New York schools will need skilled staff as migrant students arrive in school districts


Fri, Sep 1st 2023 10:50 am

However, only a small percentage of school districts are experiencing an influx of migrant students, according to a survey of superintendents

Submitted by the New York State School Boards Association

School districts will need more English as a new language teachers, teaching assistants and multilingual support staff if they serve new migrant students when school resumes this fall, according to a survey of superintendents by the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA). 

Superintendents also identified additional social workers as a high staffing priority for 2023-24 if new students from asylum-seeking families arrive in their school districts.

"Some New York school districts are preparing to welcome and support incoming migrant students, but often, this additional responsibility will require schools to secure the services of staff with a wide range of professional and language skills, some of which are in short supply in their regions," NYSSBA Executive Director Robert Schneider said. "The spectrum of needed employees will include teachers, social workers and support staff, such as cafeteria workers and translators." 

Providing instruction for English language learners was the challenge most often anticipated by superintendents (95% of respondents), followed by obtaining immunization records for migrant students (76%) and assessing appropriate grade level and special education needs (74%). Nearly 70% of superintendents said offering social work and mental health services would be a challenge.

Only 5% of superintendents said they had learned, so far, that migrant students would be relocating to their school districts, but 46% of respondents said they believed it would be "feasible" to serve up to 10 new migrant students with current or "reasonably available" resources. Of all superintendents responding, 28% said it would not be feasible for their districts to serve any new migrant students with current or reasonably available resources. 

Meanwhile, school districts also are planning for continued efforts to close learning gaps that widened during the pandemic, bolster mental health support for students, and further improve safety and security systems during the 2023-24 school year. 

Many school districts continue to use federal pandemic recovery funding to support academic intervention services and extracurricular opportunities such as art and music.

Districts also are applying new infusions of state aid, which is coming through full funding of the foundation aid formula in 2023-24, to stabilize, rebuild and expand services focused on extra academic help, mental health and school safety.

NYSSBA’s survey on migrant students was conducted between Aug. 17-28 and reflects responses from 165 superintendents from all regions of New York state, except New York City. The survey has a margin of error of +/-6.41% at the 95% confidence level.

More About NYSSBA

The New York State School Boards Association represents more than 670 school boards and more than 5,200 school board members in New York. NYSSBA provides advocacy, training and information to school boards in support of their mission to govern the state's public schools.

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