More than 30 schools have closed or closed since January, with the majority closed in New York City, the Bronx and Brooklyn, according to the New York State Department of Education.
The city and the boroughs are seeing the most closures with 6,500 schools closed, followed by the Bronx with 3,300 and the Brooklyn with 2,300.
Many of the schools in the Bronx are still open, with only a few being closed for the year, the state says.
One of the reasons the closures are occurring is that the state is facing an enrollment shortfall, with nearly 20,000 students enrolled at the state’s more than 300 schools.
Many have not been able to meet state enrollment targets.
The schools closed in the state include: North Bronx, which opened in September 2018; South Bronx, which opened in January 2019; North Jamaica, which closed in September 2019; and East Bronx, whose closed in January 2020.
The closure is not necessarily a bad thing.
The closures have caused hardship for families, said Michael Tzatziki, executive director of the Brooklyn Family Action Center.
The schools are also often not as well-off than they were before the closure.
“We’ve been having to put money away because we have no money to pay for our child care,” he said.
Some of the closures have been temporary, but others are permanent, Tzatsiki said.
Many of the closed schools are in low-income communities.
Some of the most recent closures were in New Jersey and Maryland, he said, and the majority of the closings in New England are temporary.
The Bronx schools closed because of the recent high school graduation rate.
In New York, more than 1 in 10 high school graduates graduate in a year.
But it can be difficult for people to get into and stay in a school, said Tzatziki.
Some parents are not willing to give up their child because of school closings.
The New York Department of Public Health estimates the state lost $1 billion in state funding between July 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018.
State schools have been struggling to meet enrollment targets, with schools that have closed recently including Central Bronx, Central Bronx High, East Bronx High and North Bronx High.
New York is also struggling to recruit students, said Brian Follin, director of enrollment at the Brooklyn Community Charter Schools Association.
Follin said the number of students dropping out of public schools has been increasing, with students going to charter schools more often.
“It’s a problem in many ways because the schools are closed and the students are not staying in schools,” he told The New Yorker.
“The children have no one to turn to.”
Some parents are looking for other options for their children.
An aunt in North Jamaica was able to enroll her child in a private school after a school closed down, but the school was closed for a while.
She said she hopes to enroll another child in another school after the school closes down.
A family in East New York was able move to Brooklyn because the community school is now open.
They are hoping to enroll their son in another charter school.
Many families are frustrated that they can’t afford to send their children to public schools.
Another problem for the state, which is also seeing enrollment declines in some urban districts, is that many families can’t find childcare for their kids, Foller said.
Many are relying on the city for help with childcare, which can be costly.
More than 4,000 of the state-funded charter schools in New America have closed in fiscal year 2018, according the state.
Charter schools have long been a magnet for low- and moderate-income students, but it is now starting to feel like there are not enough charters for all of them, said G. William Jennings III, the former New York state secretary of education who is now a professor at Syracuse University.
With fewer charters, parents are losing their children, he added.
“I’m seeing families being kicked out of charter schools because they don’t have the money to do the schoolwork,” he added, “and they’re being sent to private schools, which are expensive.”