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August 7, 2023
For More Information Contact:

JP O'Hare

(518) 474-1201



Statement From Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. and Commissioner Betty A. Rosa on Supports for School Districts Regarding Influx of Asylum Seekers

“Today, State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa and Department staff met with leaders from Governor Kathy Hochul’s Office and the New York City Department of Education to discuss supports for schools and school districts statewide related to the arrival of large numbers of asylum seeker and migrant students.

The State Education Department is committed to collaborating with state and local governments and education and service organizations to ensure the relocated families can access education support services for students and adults to help them acclimate and become active community members. We are focusing our efforts on utilizing our Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) and district leaders to assist in the relocation process, so these families are placed in school communities with access to resources, including wraparound services for English Language Learners (ELLs) and their families. We also are exploring the possibility of providing regulatory flexibility for districts that are experiencing significant increases in their student populations, especially increases in the number of ELLs, due to this crisis. 

While the Department cannot provide districts with information on individual prospective students and unfortunately does not exercise control over the availability of emergency funds to support an unanticipated increase in student population, we offer a wealth of resources on instructional practice and policy implementation. The Department continues to provide technical assistance to all districts through our Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages (OBEWL) as well as their affiliated Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBERN) for technical assistance, training, classroom tools, and professional development to improve instructional practices and educational outcomes of students who are ELLs, including newly arrived asylum seeker and migrant students.  

All students deserve access to an equitable, quality education. We are grateful for the work being done by local school districts and their communities in support of these families and their children. We look forward to having further conversations with our partners in government and education. The Chancellor and Board of Regents are committed to ensuring schools and school districts have the resources to provide asylum seeker and migrant students and their families with the support they need to succeed.”