About 21,000 children from asylum-seeking families have enrolled in NYC public schools. Now, the city has to contend with their needs for bilingual teachers. There is a conflict, however. As a shortage of those skills are sought by the city public school system, at the same time, members of the City Council and other advocates are putting staff that could work with students in shelters ahead of the public schools’ priority. The range of non-English languages spoken by students range from Spanish to Chinese and Arabic, as well as a range of African languages. The UFT has negotiated bonuses for teachers with a secondary education, and is also seeking to allow teachers to switch their certificates to address the need without losing tenure.

Read the full story by Crystal Lewis for The Chief-Leader, published December 3, 2023, here:,51544 


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