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News & Media

AFC in the News

04.26.2021 | SI Live | Dawn Yuster, the director of the School Justice Project for the Advocates for Children of New York, recently told the Advance/SILive.com that the organization’s belief is that the current proposals being made in the City Council are inadequate and that a substantial shift in personnel and resources are essential steps to correct issues in school policing that disproportionately affect children of color. 

“We agree with young people that moving school safety agents from the NYPD to the Department of Education, and then giving them a couple of trainings is just not sufficient,” said Yuster in an interview with the Advance/SILive.com. 

“If you’re really talking about reimagining the role of school safety, you’re not automatically just moving over one type of role and saying everyone should be doing that role continued,” said Yuster. “You’re really rethinking it.” Read article

04.26.2021 | Chalkbeat NY | Students with disabilities have struggled during the pandemic, and about one in four weren’t receiving all of the services they were entitled to during the first half of the school year. The city also faces a federal class-action lawsuit from Advocates for Children, which argues that thousands of students are owed makeup services and that the special education complaint process is too overwhelmed to handle those claims. Read article

04.21.2021 | BronxNet TV | OPEN Host Daren Jaime sits Betty Baez Melo, Early Childhood Education Project Director at Advocates for Children, to talk about the shortage of preschool special education classes for NYC families and AFC's calls for action. Watch video

04.16.2021 | Manhattan Neighborhood Netwok | “Tens of thousands of students are still struggling to access an education because of the pandemic or are at risk of disconnecting from school entirely,” Kim Sweet, executive director for AFC, said in statement Wednesday. “With the DOE poised to get billions of dollars in COVID-19 relief funding, now is the time to put forward a comprehensive plan for an equitable recovery.” 

City schools are expected to receive nearly $7 billion in funds from the federal government’s COVID relief efforts. AFC is specifically calling for the DOE to use that money to provide make-up services and specialized support for students with disabilities, ELLs and students experiencing homelessness. Read article

04.15.2021 | The Bklyner | Drops in attendance amongst English Language Learners and students with disabilities outpaced that of other students, raising concerns that existing educational disparities have only worsened during the pandemic. 

That’s according to a policy brief published yesterday by the group Advocates for Children of New York (AFC), which analyzed disaggregated attendance data for January 2021, the most recent currently available. Read article

04.15.2021 | amNY | Most of the students that require additional time to earn their high school degrees are English Language Learners or students with disabilities. Last summer, about 2,200 students across New York state needed six years to graduate from high school, according to the nonprofit group Advocates for Children of New York. 

The group estimates that each year between 2,000 to 3,000 public school seniors across New York take an additional two years to earn their degrees. Read article

04.15.2021 | Chalkbeat NY | “We’re very pleased to hear that the DOE plans to allow students over 21 to return to school, but need clarification on whether the DOE will fund the continued enrollment of students with disabilities placed by the DOE in specialized non-public schools,” said Ashley Grant, the director of postsecondary readiness at Advocates for Children, referring to the city’s education department. “The DOE left out these students this past year.” Read article

04.14.2021 | CityLimits | The numbers, highlighted in a policy brief released Wednesday by Advocates for Children of New York (AFC), show the attendance rate for students in shelter during the first month of this year was 75.7 percent, 14.1 percentage points lower than students not living in the shelter system. The attendance rate for all city students in January—including those enrolled in both remote-only and blended learning—was 89.2 percent. That’s lower than it was pre-pandemic: during the 2018-19 school year, the citywide attendance rate was 91.5 percent, DOE data shows. Read article

04.14.2021 | News 12 | The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the disparities in school attendance for students living in homeless shelters, English language learners and students with disabilities--particularly at the high school level. 

Advocates for Children of New York are calling on the city to invest in an education recovery plan to make sure all students get the education and support they need. Watch video

04.14.2021 | amNY | “The latest attendance data should spur City Hall and the DOE to action,” said Kim Sweet, AFC’s Executive Director. “Tens of thousands of students are still struggling to access an education because of the pandemic or are at risk of disconnecting from school entirely. With the DOE poised to get billions of dollars in COVID-19 relief funding, now is the time to put forward a comprehensive plan for an equitable recovery.” 

As part of the education recovery plan, advocates would also like to see the City provide more one-on-one or small group tutoring for students and boost the number of staff such as social workers and behavioral specialists in public schools. Read article