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Julian is a 3-year-old preschooler with delays in his language skills, but the DOE failed to provide recommended services. 

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Policy & Initiatives

Public Comments & Testimony

Public Comments & Testimony

Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) has our finger on the pulse of important education issues and education policy trends that affect children in New York City and New York State. We are on the forefront of pushing to improve education policy, so that all children have access to a quality education.

Below are AFC’s most recent public comments and testimonies. Please see our archive for comments and testimonies from 2011-2014.


AFC Testifies on School Climate & Discipline, April 14, 2015
AFC testified before the New York City Council Committee on Public Safety, the Committee on Education, and the Sub-Committee on Non-Public Schools regarding school climate and discipline. AFC supports the passage of both Introduction Number 730, amending the Student Safety Act, and Introduction Number 719, requiring the DOE to report on the ratio of School Safety Officers (“SSOs”) to Guidance Counselors in each school...View testimony

AFC Submits Testimony on City Council Resolutions, March 30, 2015
AFC submitted testimony to the City Council Education Committee on resolutions regarding school funding, the charter school cap, and parents’ ability to opt out of standardized tests...View testimony

AFC Testifies on Education Proposals in the Preliminary NYC Budget, March 25, 2015
AFC testified before the City Council Education Committee about the education proposals in the Fiscal Year 2016 Preliminary Budget. We are heartened that the Preliminary Budget includes increased funding for a literacy initiative to support students with disabilities, interpretation services for immigrant families, behavioral supports, and Pre-K. However, more funding is needed to have a significant impact...View testimony

AFC Testifies on Overcrowding in Schools, March 3, 2015
Today, AFC is testifying before the City Council Education Committee about the problem of overcrowding in schools and about the charter school cap.  We believe it is premature to raise the cap on the number of charter schools before putting laws and practices in place that protect students’ civil rights in the context of school discipline and ensure that charter schools serve high-needs populations...View testimony

AFC Testifies on the Draft School Discipline Code, March 2, 2015
AFC testified at the DOE Office of Safety and Youth Development hearing on the draft school discipline code for 2014-2015. Our testimony focuses on the DOE’s revision to Infraction Code B21 and the importance of addressing the behavioral needs of Pre-K students...View testimony

AFC Testifies on Early Childhood Education for Children in Temporary Housing, February 27, 2015
AFC testified at the New York City Council Committee on General Welfare hearing on interagency collaboration between the Administration for Children's Services (ACS) and the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to protect children in temporary housing. We urge ACS and DHS to create a long-term plan to enroll all eligible children living in the City’s shelters in early childhood education programs...View testimony 

AFC Testifies on Educational Services for English Language Learners, February 25, 2015
AFC testified at the New York City Council Committee on Education hearing on English Language Learners (ELLs). In our testimony, we raised concerns about the shortage of bilingual program options for ELLs, particularly in languages other than Spanish...View testimony

AFC Submits Testimony on Career and Technical Education for Students with Disabilities, February 19, 2015
AFC submitted testimony to the Employment First Commission on Career and Technical Education (CTE) and how it can help students with disabilities reach gainful employment...View testimony  

AFC Submits Comments on Student Enrollment Regulations, February 13, 2015
AFC submitted comments in response to NYSED’s proposal to amend enrollment regulations for purposes of guaranteeing that unaccompanied minors and undocumented youth are provided with their constitutional right to a free public education...View comments 

AFC Testifies on the 2015-2016 Executive Budget Proposal, February 3, 2015
Today, AFC is testifying in Albany about the proposed state education budget. We urge the Legislature to: (1) Increase funding for Pre-K statewide and support New York City’s plan to make Pre-K truly universal; (2) Increase funding for Career and Technical Education (CTE); (3) Increase funding to support English Language Learners (ELLs) and immigrant students; (4) Reject the Executive Budget special education waiver proposal; (5) Modify the Executive Budget charter school proposal to ensure that charter schools serve high-needs populations; (6) Support the Executive Budget proposal to establish regional rates for Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) services; and (7) Increase education funding overall...View testimony

AFC Testifies on EarlyLearn, January 14, 2015
AFC testified at the City Council Committee on General Welfare oversight hearing on EarlyLearn. EarlyLearn programs need adequate funding, training, technical assistance, and support to serve all eligible preschool students, including those who need additional support in order to succeed in the classroom and prepare for kindergarten....View testimony