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AFC in the News

02.07.2021 | The Riverdale Press | “As mayoral candidates think about COVID-19 recovery, schools must be front and center,” said Randi Levine, policy director of Advocates for Children of New York, who hosted the panel. 

Some of those candidates shared their thoughts on education at a recent panel hosted by the education law and policy societies of Columbia and New York University law schools. Among those attending were Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams, former HUD secretary Shaun Donovan, accountant Quanda Francis, city comptroller Scott Stringer and attorney Maya Wiley. Read article

02.04.2021 | Chalkbeat NY | At a recent forum moderated by the group Advocates for Children, Wiley, Morales, and Donovan said they were committed to removing police from schools and diverting the funding to bolster less punitive interventions and mental health services. Stringer called for more “restorative” approaches to student discipline at a recent forum, which typically include ideas like peer mediation, but did not directly commit to removing police from schools. Read article

02.04.2021 | Good is the New Cool | Janyll Canals-Kernizan, Director of AFC's Robin Hood Project, joins "Home Room" director Tony Fair and lead actress Bobbi MacKenzie for a screening of the film and discussions of student homelessness in New York City.

“Home Room" is an eye-opening and heart-warming film, shining a compassionate light on student homelessness through the story of Shae, an eighth-grader, who prepares for her high school admissions presentation while navigating a night on the street. Watch video

02.01.2021 | City & State | There’s no mystery about the mission of Kim Sweet’s nonprofit: It advocates for the children of New York, with an emphasis on providing high-quality education for low-income students. Sweet, who has run the organization since 2007, achieves its goals through legal representation and advice, litigation, advocacy training and pushing for policy changes. Her organization recently warned of a rising population of homeless students and children with developmental disabilities falling through the cracks during the pandemic. Read article

01.29.2021 | Chalkbeat | The yet-to-be appointed special master will specifically focus on the city’s compliance with a longstanding legal settlement from 2007 requiring the education department to provide services or payments to families within 35 days of receiving a hearing officer’s order. Because the city consistently failed to comply, the nonprofit group Advocates for Children requested an independent monitor in 2019. 

“Students have gone months, if not years, without ordered services,” said Rebecca Shore, litigation director at Advocates for Children. “Our hope is that this will make a difference.” Read article

01.29.2021 | The 74 | Eight candidates in the heavily crowded race for New York City mayor traded views this week on the critical issues facing the nation’s largest school system, from pandemic-driven learning loss to desegregation. 

The forum, presented by Advocates for Children, which works to advance the interests of New York’s most underserved students, took place over a publicly broadcast Zoom call and drew some 1,000 viewers. Read article

01.27.2021 | School districts will need their full share of federal relief dollars to launch “ambitious and comprehensive” recovery efforts, said Randi Levine, policy director at Advocates For Children New York. 

“It needs to have a focus both on academics and on mental health,” Levine said. “It needs to provide additional support to students with disabilities and English language learners who missed out on instruction and services that they had the legal right to receive.” Read article

01.27.2021 | Juvenile Justice Information Exchange | Dawn Yuster and her organization, Advocates for Children of New York, are calling for a mental health continuum to be established in schools with high rates of child-in-crisis cases. This model was developed by the Mayor’s Leadership Team on School Climate in 2016, which urged the city to adopt it. Last year, the City Council and other advocacy groups recommended it for high-needs schools but there was not enough money in the budget to adopt it. Read article

01.20.2021 | CBS New York | Wi-Fi connectivity and device distribution is ongoing, while schools are trying to track down 2,600 students who have never logged on.

“Recognize the disparate impact the pandemic has had and get students caught up so that this learning loss doesn’t have ripple effects for generations to come,” said Randi Levine of Advocates for Children. Watch video

01.20.2021 | Brooklyn News 12 | Betty Baez Melo, early childhood education project director at Advocates for Children of New York, talks about the coronavirus pandemic and school protocols in place as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Watch video