According to a report, more than 100,000 students have been missing their in-person learning education since the new school year started in New York.
In Brooklyn alone, the number of students not going to schools was estimated to range between 150,000 to 180,000, say some officials, according to the New York Post.
Meanwhile, the Department of Education (DOE) has not released any official data about the students remaining absent from schools three weeks after the school year started.
“It is unfathomable to me— and insulting to this committee and to the public—that they will not share the attendance data and information,” said Councilman Mark Treyger on Oct. 6.
The Post noted the DOE would not unveil any numbers until Oct. 31. Officials have started to doubt their transparency.
“They have an attendance figure for every day. They know how many kids didn’t show up. They are hiding this,” said United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew at a City Council hearing.
The struggle with students declining their in-person education in New York state has persisted since the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the autumn of 2020, Brooklyn reported a total of 955,490 pupils in Pre-K through high school. This was a decrease of 46,711 pupils from the previous year’s total of 1,002,201, and the Post took the figure from the Independent Budget Office.
In New York, the Wall Street Journal reported that up to 61% of students declined in-person learning and opted for remote education.
The Post noted students were staying away from schools over COVID-19 concerns.
“Parents keep kids home a lot on unofficial quarantine like when cousins are exposed at other schools. They don’t care about the DOE’s quarantine rules,” said a Brooklyn teacher.
Coping with the substantial number of students missing out from school, the DOE has recently filed a memo telling educators to accelerate their daily tracks on the missing pupils.
“Reach out to every absent student every day,” the instruction read, which ordered schools to go after every single absent student and clarify why they would not pick up their face-to-face education.
“Outreach to families may include phone calls, text messages, postcards, and where possible, home visits,” the memo stressed.