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News & Media

AFC in the News

02.23.2021 | Chalkbeat NY | Ashley Grant, director of the Postsecondary Readiness Project at the nonprofit Advocates for Children, supported the decision to remove the Regents from graduation requirements. 

“This is great news and will allow teachers and students to focus on the work of teaching and learning, confident that students who meet all other graduation requirements will not lose their chance to earn a diploma because of COVID-19,” she wrote in an email. Read article

02.23.2021 | NY Daily News | The city Education Department illegally held up court-ordered tuition reimbursement payments for families of private school students with disabilities during the pandemic, a Manhattan federal judge ruled. 

One high school student with multiple disabilities was forced to temporarily drop out of her court-approved Manhattan private school for a month last summer because the city failed to deliver its reimbursement payments and the student’s single mother couldn’t front the cost, according to Rebecca Shore, the family’s lawyer. 

“This loss was demoralizing for our client, and put at risk her ability to graduate,” said Shore, an attorney with Advocates for Children. Read article

02.22.2021 | Univision Nueva York | Mariela Salgado habla con Betty Baez Melo y Maggie Moroff de Advocates for Children of New York sobre estudiantes con discapacidades. "Muchas familias han pasado meses desconectadas, sin saber qué servicios de instrucción recibirán." 

Rossana Díaz, una madre de familia en Nueva York, relata cómo ha sobrellevado la condición de su hijo en estos tiempos de aprendizaje remoto, en los que además ha tenido que lidiar con el trabajo y varias responsabilidades del hogar al mismo tiempo. Watch video

02.18.2021 | “We want a mental health approach taken,” said Dawn Yuster, director of the School Justice Project at Advocates for Children, especially given the trauma students will likely bring to school in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. “If there is a student in emotional crisis, there’s no reason to restrain them." 

In 2019, the police transported about 3,400 students to hospitals because they were experiencing an emotional crisis, or roughly 30% of all police interventions in schools that year, according to an analysis of city data by the New York Civil Liberties Union. About 87% of those students were Black or Latino, despite being 67% of the student population, and about 9% of those incidents involved the use of handcuffs. A 2017 report found students as young as five years old in emotional distress have been handcuffed. Read article

02.10.2021 | Chalkbeat NY | “It’s probably fair to say some of that was data entry, but not all of it,” said Maggie Moroff, a special education policy expert at Advocates for Children. “It’s also probable that not all the kids were getting what they needed.” 

Moroff said she is hopeful some of the more granular data will help parents and advocates push the education department to boost services in places that need it most. “One of the reasons we pushed for data like this is because it then drives accountability,” she said. Read article

02.10.2021.| PIX11 | Caleb Bell was one of the eight students named in a class action lawsuit filed by Advocates for Children, hoping to get compensatory services for tens of thousands of special needs students in New York City public schools. About 200,000 students have individualized educational plans. 

 "These students will not receive the services that they need for years. These students need those services now — they have lost a year of education," said Rebecca Shore, Advocates for Children of New York's Director of Litigation. Watch video

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