Thursday, May 23, 2024

Amid record high NYC homeless student population, calls grow for laundry machines in schools

Chalkbeat New York reports:

More than a decade ago, Principal Joseph Mattina noticed students at P.S. 23 Carter G. Woodson were consistently arriving at the Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, elementary school without their uniforms.

Initially, Mattina grew frustrated with the students, asking why they couldn’t wear the clothes that had been supplied by the school.

“One day, one of the kids turned around and said to me, ‘Well, it’s dirty, and my mom can’t wash it,’” he said. “That really resonated with me, because it was something that I had never thought of before. It was an obstacle that I didn’t realize existed.”

Today, P.S. 23 is one of just a fraction of the city’s more than 1,600 public schools that offers on-site laundry services, allowing students who live in temporary housing or who otherwise lack access to such facilities to wash their clothes while at school.

As of November 2022, 119 public schools in the city had washers and dryers installed, according to the city’s Education Department.

The modern day welfare state really does include more than just government schooling services...