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LAS Threatens Suit Over Lack of Internet for Homeless Students

The Legal Aid Society is threatening to sue the de Blasio administration for failing to provide internet access to homeless children in shelters, effectively blocking their ability to participate in remote learning during Covid-19, according to POLITICO.

Legal Aid and the law firm Milbank, representing the Coalition for the Homeless, sent a demand letter on Thursday to schools Chancellor Richard Carranza and Department of Homeless Services Administrator Joslyn Carter, calling on the city to remedy internet access problems at the Flatlands Family Residence in Brooklyn and other DHS facilities with school-age children.

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, internet access is not a luxury; it is a basic prerequisite to entering the ‘virtual classroom’ that has been necessitated by the virus,” the letter reads in part. “By neglecting to ensure that homeless children can connect to the internet, the City is in violation of its constitutional obligation to provide a ‘sound basic education.”