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Micaela’s Story

Micaela is a dual-language learner who is on the autism spectrum and needed an appropriate school placement for kindergarten.

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AFC in the News

11.01.2018 | WNYC | Increased funding for accessibility is a step toward affording students with physical disabilities the same opportunities as their able-bodied peers, advocates say. "In a city that prides itself on giving students choice, the choices for kids with physical disabilities are much more limited that can't get into every building and if they can get in, they can't get around,” said Maggie Moroff, the Special Education Policy Coordinator at Advocates for Children. Read article

10.28.2018 | Patch.com |  School staff sometimes fail to nip bullying in the bud, minimizing small incidents that grow into more harmful patterns of behavior, said Dawn Yuster of Advocates for Children of New York, an education advocacy group. And even though kids may be suspended or otherwise punished, the schools sometimes don't do enough to address the problem, Yuster said. "A lot of times principals and schools don't really know what to do to stop it," said Yuster, the director of AFC's School Justice Project. "… They will try different things but they're not effective and they don't really know the best strategies to use to address it." Read article

10.17.2018 | New York Daily News | Advocates for Children Special Education Policy Coordinator Maggie Moroff said the practice of forcing kids to use secondary entrances is “exactly the kind of thing that makes students with disabilities and their families feel like second-class citizens.” She added: “Overall, it’s another way the students with disabilities get segregated from their more typical peers.” Read article

10.15.2018 | New York Times | Tonight, about one out of every 10 students in New York City will sleep in a homeless shelter or in the homes of relatives. That’s more children than at any other time since city records have been kept. In the morning, those same children will fan out across the city to go to school, some crossing multiple boroughs to get there. Last year, the number of city students in temporary housing topped 100,000 children for the third consecutive year, according to state data released Monday by Advocates for Children of New York, a group that provides legal and advocacy services for needy students. Read article

10.15.2018 | Politico New York | More than 114,000 New York City students were identified as homeless during the 2017-18 school year, according to new state Education Department data posted by Advocates for Children of New York. "The number of students who are homeless in New York City would fill Yankee Stadium twice," said Kim Sweet, AFC's executive director, in a statement. "While the City works to address the overwhelming problem of homelessness, it must take bold action to ensure that students who are homeless get an excellent education and do not get stuck in a cycle of poverty." Read article

10.15.2018 | New York Daily News | The number of city students living in homelessness reached an all-time high for the school year that ended in June, a new report shows. A record 114,659 students in temporary housing attended city schools in the 2017-18 year, up nearly 3% from 111,562 in the 2016-17 school year, according to data published Monday by the New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students (NYS-TEACHS), a project of the nonprofit Advocates for Children of New York. Read article

10.11.2018 | New York Daily News | A new report by Advocates for Children of New York rattles off the depressing numbers: Just 18.4% of schools in the five boroughs are fully accessible to all, with necessary ramps and elevators. Three of the city’s 32 community school districts have not a single accessible elementary school, requiring boys and girls with serious physical challenges to take long trips to be taught the basics far from their friends and neighbors. Even in District 75, the cluster of schools and programs for kids with the most severe disabilities, fewer than a third of school buildings are fully accessible. An inaccessible school is an unusable school. Young people must be able to go to the bathroom, to enter and exit the cafeteria. Their parents, if mobility-impaired themselves, must be able to attend a teacher-parent conference or performance. Read editorial

10.10.2018 | New York Daily News | City schools Chancellor Richard Carranza vowed to make a “significant investment” in creating more accessible public schools on Wednesday after a report found that only 335 of 1,818 public schools in the city are barrier-free for students with disabilities. The Advocates for Children analysis also revealed that one central Brooklyn school district has no fully accessible schools at all — and even schools for students with severe disabilities lack needed wheelchair ramps and elevators...Advocates for Children Special Education Policy Coordinator Maggie Moroff said the city should spend another $750 million to make at least one-third of schools in each school district fully accessible by 2024. Read article

front page of today's paper10.10.2018 | New York Daily News | Only 335 of 1,818 public schools in the city are fully equipped for students with disabilities – and one central Brooklyn district has no accessible schools at all, a new report shows. The tally of public school buildings completed by nonprofit Advocates for Children shows that even a majority of schools in a special district created for students with severe disabilities is not fully accessible, lacking items such as wheelchair ramps and elevators to allow students get to class. The result is that too many students with disabilities are shut out of city schools, Advocates for Children Special Education Policy Coordinator Maggie Moroff said Tuesday. Read article

10.05.2018 | New York Times | Kerrin said she talked to his teachers and administrators repeatedly, but, she said, they insisted they did not have enough special education students to create a small, devoted classroom. For third grade, T.J. was again placed in a large classroom. T.J. was just being passed through the system, she recalled thinking. “He isn’t where he’s supposed to be, and everyone is ignoring it.”

Finally, she said, “one of his teachers reached out to me personally and said, ‘You have rights.’” That teacher guided her to Advocates for Children of New York. “The system is very hard to navigate,” said Daniel Hochbaum, a lawyer at that organization who represents T.J. and his family. “A parent can’t know everything there is to know on their own. I’m an attorney and I don’t even know all the answers.” Read article