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Paige’s Story

Paige, a bright third grade student on the autism spectrum, sat at home for nearly two months waiting for a school placement that would meet her needs. 

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02.14.2019 | AFC submitted testimony for the New York State Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the 2019-2020 Health Budget proposal, urging legislators to increase the reimbursement rate for Early Intervention providers to help ensure children can get their services in a timely manner. Read testimony [PDF]

02.06.2019 | AFC is testifying at the New York State Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the 2019-2020 Elementary and Secondary Education Budget proposal, urging legislators to increase investments in education initiatives such as positive approaches to discipline, preschool special education programs, prekindergarten, and support for Multilingual Learners, and to reject harmful special education proposals. Read our testimony [PDF]

12.18.2018 | AFC testified before the New York City Council Committee on Education, Committee on Finance, and Subcommittee on Capital Budget in support of the proposal to include $750 million in the FY 2020-2024 Capital Plan to improve school accessibility. Read our testimony [PDF]

12.17.2018 | Today, Advocates for Children testified before the City Council Committee on General Welfare regarding recommendations for supporting students experiencing homelessness. Read our testimony [PDF]

11.02.2018 | Today, Advocates for Children, along with more than 30 other organizations, sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio calling on him to provide busing for kindergarten through sixth grade students in foster care. For students who have been separated from their families, school has the potential to be an important stabilizing factor in their life, but the City currently guarantees bus service only to students in foster care who receive special education transportation. Read the letter [PDF]

10.23.2018 | Today, AFC testified before the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Education regarding the current state of health, mental health, and physical education programs, services, and instruction in New York State’s schools. Our testimony discusses the need for the expansion of school-based mental health services and evidence-based approaches to student behavior. Read our testimony [PDF]

10.16.18 | Today, Advocates for Children is testifying before the City Council Committee on Education about the importance of improving the school transportation system, especially for students with disabilities, students in foster care, and students in temporary housing, and in support of a bill to provide real-time GPS bus location data to parents. Read our testimony [PDF

The ARISE Coalition, which is coordinated by AFC, is also testifying in support of the bill, highlighting some of the trends Coalition members have seen that make this system so problematic for individual families and their children with disabilities. Read ARISE's testimony [PDF]

09.27.2018 | Today, AFC sent a letter to Chancellor Carranza regarding start-of-school problems with busing. The letter shared a number of cases that are illustrative of what families, especially families of students with disabilities, routinely experience. Although the DOE has tended to treat busing as ancillary to its core mission of providing a quality education to the City’s students, we see over and over cases in which busing problems keep students from school altogether, make students miss critical academic time by arriving late/leaving early, or relegate students – some with very complicated special needs – to uncomfortable, extended periods of time on buses, often impacting their readiness to learn and leaving their parents fearful for their safety. Read the letter

09.20.2018 | AFC testified before the New York City Council Committee on Public Safety and Committee on Education regarding a proposal to establish a school emergency preparedness task force and a resolution calling for one guidance counselor and social worker for every 250 students and at least one guidance counselor and social worker per school. Read testimony [PDF]

09.12.2018 | Today, members of the ARISE Coalition (which is coordinated by AFC) and Parents for Inclusive Education (PIE) sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio asking that the City include a major investment in the FY 2020-2024 School Construction Authority Five-Year Capital Plan to make at least one-third of schools accessible to students, parents, and teachers with physical disabilities. Currently, only one out of every five City schools is fully accessible; as a result, students with physical disabilities find themselves automatically shut out of the majority of schools because of architectural barriers. 

We estimate that reaching this target would require an additional $750 million over five years. While we would like to see the school system fully accessible to individuals with physical disabilities, this funding would go a long way toward integrating students with physical needs into NYC’s schools and would have a significant impact on their lives.

Read the letter [PDF]