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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

04.14.2021 | SI Live | Dawn Yuster, the director of th School Justice Project for the Advocates of Children of New York, said 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 issue 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." 

Part of that process would involve having more active conversations with those involved in the job currently, but also with advocates that have been pushing for changes for years, Yuster explained. Read article

04.14.2021 | NY Daily News | Tenth graders who in shelters saw the lowest attendance rates, logging in just 64% of the time in January — a rate 18% lower than their classmates in stable housing, according to an analysis of Department of Education attendance data from the group Advocates for Children. 

“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.” Read article

04.13.2021 | The Bklyner | “It will be important for the DOE to engage in intensive outreach to reengage students and families who have been disconnected from school,” Kim Sweet, executive director of of the organization Advocates for Children of New York. 

“The City must also take intentional steps to make registration as simple as possible and ensure that all students, including those who have disabilities, are learning English as a new language, or are experiencing homelessness, have the support they need to participate.” Read article

04.12.2021 | CBS New York | Monday, a coalition of 100 organizations, including Advocates for Children, sent a letter to the mayor demanding federal funding be used to provide every special needs child access to a preschool class. 

“These are families of children who have a legal right to attend a preschool special class program,” said Betty Baez Melo of Advocates for Children. 

It comes just weeks after de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter announced the expansion of the 3-K program for traditional students by more than 16,000 seats. Watch video

04.12.2021 | Juvenile Justice Information Exchange | Despite progress in getting Wi-Fi in homeless shelters, many students remain disconnected from remote classrooms for several other, sometimes, unclear reasons, said Jennifer Pringle, director of the New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students. She said most family shelters did not have Wi-Fi prior to the pandemic. 

“There is a large number of students who are currently identified as homeless who have either not connected with school or not regularly connected with school,” Pringle said. “A lot of outreach needs to be done to re-engage students.” Read article

04.11.2021 | In Focus on NY1 | Randi Levine joined In Focus to talk about her organization has come up with a comprehensive COVID education recovery plan for the current mayor and his successor to adopt that includes hiring a core of professionals to bolster the areas of academics, social, emotional and engagement and outreach; creating an expanded summer program to help students who need additional help; specialized support for different populations of students including special education and English language learners; and significant mental health assistance. 

Levine also talks about how during the pandemic there has been a startling decline in the number of referrals to the city's early intervention program which provides evaluations and services for zero to three-year-olds with developmental delays and disabilities, and that 3-K and Pre-K will never be for all until the mayor steps up and also ensures that there is a preschool special education class for every child who needs one. Watch video

04.06.2021 | NY Daily News | Randi Levine, the policy director of Advocates for Children, said that with the influx of state and federal cash, the city should “fund a major education initiative” that includes academic support and mental health support with extra attention to students hit hardest by the pandemic. 

City officials have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to shore up financing for the schools with the biggest budget shortfalls, but the city is still about $750 million shy of funding every school at 100%, according to the group Advocates for Children. With Tuesday’s state budget announcement, that could begin to change. Read article

04.01.2021 | BronxNet TV | Host Daren Jaime sits down with the Policy Director of Advocate for Children of New York, Randi Levine discussing the COVID-19 Education Recovery Plan and recommendations focus on summer programs for students, intensive one-on-one tutoring, services for disabled students, and much more. Watch video

03.31.2021 | amNY | “This is a matter of basic fairness,” reads a letter from the group Advocates for Children to the NYSED Chancellor Lester Young and Board of Regents Commissioner Betty Rosa. “Students turning 21 during the 2020-21 school year should have as much time to complete this year’s coursework as their younger classmates. In the face of the incredible hardships caused by COVID-19, districts across the State have had to adjust to grading policies and timetables, including giving high schoolers additional time to complete coursework required for graduation. Many students need extra time.” Read article

03.30.2021 | NY1 | “There's no federal law that requires that state accountability tests be tied to graduation,” said Ashley Grant, director of the Postsecondary Readiness Project at ‎Advocates for Children of New York. “And New York state's a real outlier right now on this, so we're one of only 11 states that uses a high-stakes test as a graduation requirement or as an exit exam.” 

 “We're really calling for more meaningful and equitable pathways to graduation for all students, including ones that don't tie Regents exams to graduation,” Grant, who coordinates the Coalition for Multiple Pathways to a Diploma, said. Read article