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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

12.05.2019 | SI Live | Nearly 3% of children under 3 years old with development delays or disabilities didn’t receive their critical, required services from 2016-2018, according to a new report.

The report, titled “Early Inequities: How Underfunding Early Intervention Leaves Low-Income Children of Color Behind,” was released Thursday by Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC) and Advocates for Children of New York (AFC). It analyzed data from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene about the Early Intervention program services for children across all five boroughs. Read article

11.27.2019 | NY1| Errol Louis discussed the homelessness crisis in the city's public schools with two advocates, Raysa Rodriguez, of the Citizens' Committee for Children of New York, and Randi Levine, of Advocates for Children. Watch video

11.21.2020 | Rise Magazine |  In NYC, Advocates for Children provides advice and legal aid to ensure that low-income families have access to quality education for their children. Promise Project helps low-income families properly evaluate their children for learning disabilities and get the services they need.

We spoke with Maggie Moroff, special education policy coordinator at Advocates for Children; Lillian Murphy, senior project manager at Promise Project; and Lorenzo Torres, supervising education coordinator at Promise Project to find out about children’s rights and the IEP process. Read article

11.20.2019 | amNewYork | Education advocates urged lawmakers to push to fully fund ‘foundation’ aid during a round-table discussion at Bayside High School in Queens on Tuesday. The meeting was the last of five round tables held to discuss school needs before a Dec. 3  state senate public hearing on the impact of the foundation aid formula. The round table was headed by state Senator Shelley Mayer, John Liu, Brian Benjamin, who were joined by fellow state Senator Liz Krueger along with members of the New York state education department board of regents and City Council member Mark Treyger and New York City DOE Chief Financial Officer to listen to community concerns. 

“If a child doesn’t have a notebook and they come to school…do we leave this child to just be unprepared all year? Or do we give this kid a notebook?” asked Thomas Sheppard, part of Community Education Council 11 in the Bronx. Sheppard, other CEC members and members of groups like the New York Immigration Coalition, Advocates for Children of New York and the Alliance for Quality Education agreed that the in order to best help students foundation aid needs to be fully funded ‘as it was intended.’ Read article

11.15.2019 | Bronx News12 | If you have a child, chances are they will deal with bullying at some point -- but making sure your child gets the help they need is a struggle for many. Gena Miller, attorney with Advocates for Children of New York, represents the families of bullied children. She says communication is key. "Something that's a great idea to do is to ask your child targeted questions," says Miller. "Something that we know is bullying often happens when there's lots of student-to-student interaction, so pickup, drop-off lunch, recess, gym." Miller says those targeted questions can narrow down when bullying is happening.

In a special Team 12 report, cases of bullying were found to be widely under-reported citywide. Miller says it is important to ask for a copy of any bullying report involving your child. "Something we think is important is staff members report anything they suspect is bullying so that the school can do an investigation," says Miller. "Sometimes it can be difficult to tell what's happening in a social interaction, so it's good to report so the school can investigate it appropriately." Read article

11.04.2019 | AM New York | Only 59.2 percent of students were getting a full range of instruction in 2015, according to the DOE. But Advocates for Children of New York is calling for the DOE to break down the recent report by district, as opposed to citywide, in order for parents to understand how the figures affect their children.

“New York City continues to fall short when it comes to educating its students with disabilities. While the percentage of City students fully receiving their recommended special education instruction continued to trend in the right direction in 2018-19, we are nevertheless dismayed that more than 15 percent of students with disabilities—a total 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,” said Kim Sweet, Executive Director of AFC. Read article

11.04.2019 | Washington Square News | Since last year, over 114,000 New York City public school students have continued to struggle with homelessness, and nearly 38,000 live in shelters. Recent reports by the Advocates for Children of New York show that this number has gone down by not even 600 students. For the remaining students that continue to struggle with homelessness, one thing remains certain: the city continues to fail them. After recent failures to deal with this issue in both the public and the private sector, we must begin to truly address the crisis and give these students the resources and support they deserve. Read article

11.04.2019 | Washington Square News | Since last year, over 114,000 New York City public school students have continued to struggle with homelessness, and nearly 38,000 live in shelters. Recent reports by the Advocates for Children of New York show that this number has gone down by not even 600 students. For the remaining students that continue to struggle with homelessness, one thing remains certain: the city continues to fail them. After recent failures to deal with this issue in both the public and the private sector, we must begin to truly address the crisis and give these students the resources and support they deserve. Read article

11.03.2019 | SI Live | A new report on homeless students in New York City has identified more than 2,500 Staten Island students in elementary, middle and high schools who are, or have been, homeless.

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.

According to the report, Island public and charter schools enrolled 2,558 homeless students during the 2018-2019 school year. That’s 2.24% of the total number of homeless students in schools across the five boroughs. Read article

11.02.2019 | NY1 | The city says it is making progress in educating students with disabilities, but advocates say it's not fast enough. "There are still 29,000 students with disabilities in New York City who did not receive their full mandated special education instruction by the end of the year," said Randi Levine, Policy Director, Advocates for Children.

That number was revealed by the city education department in a new report it sent to the City Council. It amounts to 15 percent of all special education students. That's an improvement over the year before when 21 percent of special education students did not receive all required services.

But elected officials and advocates say too many children are still missing out on special classes or extra instruction that schools are legally mandated to provide them. "In over 29,000 cases, they are in violation of the law," said Councilman Mark Treyger.

And Randi Levine, policy director at Advocates for Children, says those violations translate into significant challenges for children. "We see only 16% of students with disabilities are reading proficiently, so this is not just a question of complying with the law it's question of improving the educational outcomes for students with disabilities," Levine said. Read article