11.07.2013 | The New York State Education Department (NYSED) issued a ruling this week on a complaint filed by Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) earlier this year, charging the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) of systemically violating the law by failing to provide crucial behavioral supports for students with disabilities. The NYSED decision affirms AFC’s claim that the NYC DOE must address students’ behavior using Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs) as mandated by law.
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News & Media
11.01.2013 | The drop in suspension numbers is encouraging. However, we remain troubled by the disproportionate number of suspensions served by students of color and students with disabilities. Though the overall numbers have gone down, the rate at which students of color are suspended has not, and the rate at which students with disabilities are suspended has actually increased. This stubborn disproportionality is especially troubling in light of the DOE’s ongoing systemic failure to provide students with disabilities the behavioral supports they need and are entitled to under federal law. Read full statement released by the Dignity in Schools Campaign-New York, a coalition of students, parents, advocates and educators of which Advocates for Children is a member.
9.04.2013 | The Student Safety Coalition, a diverse group of educators, parents, students, advocates and legal experts, today called on New York City’s next mayor to implement reforms to end overly aggressive policing in the city schools and restore authority over school discipline to professional educators. Read the press release here and the Coalition's guiding principles here.
AFC Executive Director Kim Sweet speaking at the press conference.
Student organizers and other attendees.
5.30.2013 | Last year, there were 69,694 suspensions and 2,548 arrests and summonses in the New York City public schools. Research and experience have shown that we can keep our schools safe while reducing these high rates of suspensions and arrests, which are linked to high rates of school failure, drop out, and future court involvement. We need effective and fair school discipline, with schools creating and nurturing a climate and culture that promote positive behavior, and we need targeted, consistent collaboration between the education, justice, and social service systems, as well as the communities they serve. Today the New York City School-Justice Partnership Task Force released a report outlining a plan of action for the next mayor to lead a city-wide effort to keep kids in school and out of court. The New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children, working with Advocates for Children of New York, sponsored the New York City School-Justice Partnership Task Force with support from the law firm of Skadden Arps and a grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies.
Damon Hewitt, NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Kim Sweet, Advocates for Children of New York; Joan Gabbidon, Kings County District Attorney's Office; Judge Judith Kaye; Judge Monica Drinane, Bronx County Family Court; Kathleen DeCataldo, NYS Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children; Timothy Lisante, District 79, NYC Department of Education
04.04.2013 | Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) filed a complaint today with the New York State Education Department against the NYC Department of Education (DOE) for its failure to provide students with disabilities necessary behavioral supports as mandated by law. Providing these supports has been shown to decrease behaviors that often result in removing students from the classroom and/or suspending students. Read the complaint here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5. Read the press release.
01.15.2013 | More than 152,000 New York City students, including 54,000 with special education needs, depend on school buses to get them to their classes each day. In the event of a strike, Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) urges the City to take every possible action to ensure that these students do not become victims of a labor dispute and that they have a safe, alternative way to get to and from school... Read full statement
01.02.2013 | AFC commends the New York Education Reform Commission for proposing an expansion of high-quality prekindergarten programs. At a time when the city and state are implementing the rigorous Common Core Standards and emphasizing college and career readiness, we cannot afford to have some children start school behind. Providing high-quality prekindergarten programs to low-income children is one of the most effective strategies for improving educational outcomes... Read full statement
12.06.2012 | Today, the DOE proposed changes to the Chancellor’s Regulations to make kindergarten mandatory with certain exceptions. While the proposed regulations include exceptions required by state law, the proposal sends the message that kindergarten is a fundamental part of a child’s education... Read full statement
8.31.2012 | AFC supports the recommendations of the Fund for Public Advocacy to strengthen the NYC Department of Education’s special education reform. We have called continuously on the DOE to define measures for evaluating the reform, develop clear enrollment policies that balance serving students in their zoned schools with ensuring school capacity to serve students, provide increased on-site professional development, and engage parents in dialogue about the reform... Read full statement
6.20.2012 | AFC and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) filed a complaint today with the Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education against the DOE for its systemic failure to provide translation and interpretation services to tens of thousands of limited English proficient (LEP) parents, in violation of local, state, and federal civil rights laws. Read the complaint here and read the press release here. All exhibits, including parent affidavits, are available on file with AFC. Please contact Abja Midha at (212) 822-9502 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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