Amid a looming bus strike, Covid surge, and concerns over asylum seekers, NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks spoke with CBS News about what parents should expect for the upcoming 2023-24 school year. He shared that he is hopeful about the strike, and that the DOE is doing a good job communicating with families.
When it comes to the influx of migrants in the school system, he believes the city needs more support from the federal government. But at the school level, he says, we have welcomed them with open arms and it has gone well. “The problem that we have is that because of where they are in these temporary shelters, they are limited to the schools we are able to send them to,” he says. But he adds that the DOE is working really hard to alleviate that.
When asked about how the DOE is handling the language barriers, he emphasized that this is New York City and “the whole world goes to school here; this is not new for us.” As for space? Banks wants families to remember that around 120,000 families left the school system around five years ago and that we do, in fact, have the space for the 20,000 additional students who are enrolled.
Banks also addressed his focus on safety for the upcoming school year. Currently, over 700 schools have a safety measure in place where doors are locked and visitors must be buzzed in. He referred to the tragic school shootings that have happened across the country and says that, “[it] has not happened here in New York City and we’re going to do everything that we can to ensure that it does not happen.” He says that the new system will be put into effect in all elementary schools by the spring, and all middle and high schools will have them in place by the following school year. See the full interview here.