Chalkbeat: As Chicago’s shelter rule for migrant families takes effect, here are three student rights to know

A group of children run around a classroom in Chicago.

By Reema Amin (Chalkbeat), November, 27 2023

Chicago educators and advocates are concerned about how Mayor Brandon Johnson’s new 60-day limit for shelter stays for migrant families will impact attendance and stability for migrant students.

The new rule comes as the city has struggled to house migrants. More than 22,000 have arrived from the Southern border since August 2022, many fleeing economic and political upheaval in Central and South American countries. City and state officials have promised to boost efforts to help families get resettled and find more permanent housing, a commitment that comes just as a state-operated rental assistance program will no longer apply to newly arrived immigrants who are entering shelters, Block Club Chicago reported.

About 50 families have already received the notices, and another 3,000 will get them on Dec. 4.

Advocates said losing shelter could mean more absences among migrant students who are homeless — formally known as students living in temporary living situations. That designation includes children in shelter, living doubled up with another family, or living in a public place. As of Oct. 31, average attendance rates this school year for homeless students are 5 percentage points lower than their peers with permanent housing, according to Chicago Public Schools data shared with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

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