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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

11.01.2019 | Bronx Times | More than 114,000 youngsters were identified as homeless during the 2018-19 school year, according to state Education Department statistics studied by Advocates for Children in New York City.

To show that there has been no concerted effort to address the issue there is this shocking statistic.The data shows that the number of students identified as homeless has topped 100,000 for the fourth consecutive years.

This includes public and charter school students and the report further shows that the number has steadily increased by more than 70 percent over the last decade.

“This problem is immense. The number of New York City students who experienced homelessness last year — 85 percent of whom are black or Hispanic — could fill the Barclays Center six times,” Advocate for Children Executive Director Kim Sweet said. “The city won’t be able to break the cycle of homelessness until we address the dismal educational outcomes for students who are homeless.” Read the article

11.01.2019 | Chalkbeat NY | Kim Sweet, director for the nonprofit Advocates for Children, credited the DOE for providing a higher number of students with their mandated services.

“We are nevertheless dismayed that more than 15% of students with disabilities — a total [of] 28,960 children, more than the total enrollment of the Yonkers public schools — still did not fully receive the instruction to which they are legally entitled,” she said. Read article

11.01.2019 | NY Daily News | More than 15% of students with disabilities are missing out on instruction to which they are legally entitled, according to Advocates for Children of New York. The total number of neglected disabled children — 28,960 — is more than the entire enrollment of the Yonkers public schools, an organization leader said.

The group was responding to a Department of Education report touting a 6% increase in the number of students receiving special education services between the 2017-18 and the 2018-19 school years. Read article

10.31.2019 | BKLYNER | From providing on-the-ground help in schools to advocating for improved policies, nonprofits are making our school system work for all students. Below are eight ways to give and some great organizations that can put your generosity to work.

All children have the right to attend school and to learn, including children with disabilities. But teachers, families, and administrators often need tools and training to help ensure they can meet the unique needs of these students. You can help by supporting Advocates for Children of New York helps children with disabilities and others who are at greatest risk of school-based discrimination. Read article

10.31.2019 | Queens Chronicle | ommon sense and studies agree: If there’s one thing students need in order to succeed, it’s a stable home life. But for 114,085 New York City public schoolchildren — about 10 percent of the total — such an environment is impossible to achieve. That’s because they’re homeless.

Until this year, the number of homeless students in the public school system had been steadily increasing since the 2014-15 academic year, according to Advocates for Children, the group reporting the numbers based on state data. Last year it peaked at 114,659. We can only hope this year’s minimal decrease turns out to be more than the blip it appears to be and starts a trend. Read article

10.30.2019 | Coalition for the Homeless | One of every 10 New York City public school students was homeless during the 2018-2019 school year. New data released by Advocates for Children of New York show that 114,085 NYC students lived in shelters or doubled-up with family or friends, a number virtually unchanged since the prior year’s grim record. Homeless children often struggle to keep up with their stably housed classmates as they grapple with challenges such as long commutes to school and shelter transfers as well as too many missed school days. The constant stress of homelessness is also associated with greater behavioral and academic difficulties, which have lasting ramifications. Read article

10.30.2019 | Bronx Justice News | The number of city students identified as homeless has  increased by more than 70 percent over the last decade, despite a half percentage point decrease from the 2017-2018 school year, according to the report.

At least 36,679 public students in the Bronx were counted among the homeless, the data shows.

“This problem is immense,” aid Kim Sweet, Executive Director project of Advocates for Children of New York, which oversaw the homelessness tally. “The number of New York City students who experienced homelessness last year—85% of whom are Black or Hispanic—could fill the Barclays Center six times.” Read article

10.29.2019 | Brooklyn Daily Eagle | Nearly one in 10 Brooklyn students were homeless during the course of the 2018-2019 school year, according to new data released Monday. But in one school district, that number was closer to one in five.

Officials at Advocates for Children of New York — the group that spearheads the annual report — say District 23, which encompasses Ocean Hill, Brownsville and parts of East New York, had the second-highest concentration of homeless students citywide. Of a total 9,290 enrolled students, 2,075 lacked stable housing during last school year.

“More than one out of every five students in District 23 experienced homelessness last year,” Randi Levine, policy director at AFC, told the Brooklyn Eagle. “That means that many of these children experienced the trauma of housing loss and, many times, of domestic violence, which is one of the driving factors of homelessness in New York City.”

Districts 17 (East Flatbush and Crown Heights), 19 (East New York) and 20 (Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Borough Park) had the highest sheer numbers of homeless students in the borough, though the numbers were lower than in District 23 in terms of concentration. Read article

10.29.2019 | SI Live | The New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students, a project of Advocates for Children of New York (AFC), released the new data of students who experienced homelessness in New York State and New York City during the 2018-2019 school year. Read article

10.29.2019 | NY Metro Parents | As Davis explains, it is especially important for families making lower incomes and families whose native language is not English to understand their parental rights. Many of these families, however, don’t have the means to pay retainers and fees, according to Ashley Grant, supervising staff attorney at Advocates for Children in New York City. But these fees, she says, should not prevent parents from seeking assistance.

For example, families can reach out to Advocates for Children, which is just one of several organizations in the city that connects families with lower incomes to legal resources. Some law firms will take on cases regardless of family income. As Krooks points out: “We’ll take on cases like this because we went to law school to help people.” When a lawyer helps a family win a case in New York, the firm can have their attorney’s fees reimbursed by the Department of Education, at no cost to the family. Read article