ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — More than 90,000 asylum seekers have entered the state, that number continues to grow. NYS Senator James Tedisco is taking steps to help children with language barriers adjust to New York.

“Give them the funding necessary to give these kids the education they deserve,” said Senator Jim Tedisco, who is asking the Governor to initiate a plan to aid school districts with costs needed to help students who may not speak English. Our Capitol Correspondent Amal Tlaige was told in the city of Rotterdam that number is around 60 to 70 students. “Now as you know, many of these students are below grade level, many of them from different countries don’t speak English, that’s gonna be a second language these school districts are gonna have to update the budget they put in place,” said Tedisco.  

He said schools will need more ESL teachers and the funding formula that was part of this year’s budget did not account for migrants. “So what I’m asking of the Governor is simply do what’s right, we passed a budget with funding for these communities which doesn’t live up to 68 new children, who have special needs being assimilated into areas of Rotterdam school districts, Schenectady school districts, Colonie school districts, and wherever this is going to stop,” he said.

While the state is covering costs for migrants for one year, that’s only for housing, case management and related services. “It doesn’t provide any funding for the educational system, for new educators, for new teachers, for new programs, what happens in the second year, the third year, the fourth year, the fifth year?” asked Tedisco.

At a press conference on Thursday, Governor Hochul said she spoke with state education Commissioner, Betty Rosa who emphasized that certain school districts have the capacity for these students. “And you also want to make sure that there’s the proper language skills being taught there, where English as a second language you need specialized teachers, so not every school lends itself to being the best place for student.”

The Governor said the State Education Department will be holding a press conference with Mayor Adams on Monday to determine the best locations for these students. Capitol Correspondent, Amal Tlaige reached out to the department on Thursday, but has not heard back.