Need Help?

Call AFC's Education Helpline
(866) 427-6033
Monday to Thursday
10 am to 4 pm 

Resource library: View AFC's guidebooks, fact sheets, and more

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. 

Stay connected

Sign up for AFC's email updates and find other ways to take action.

News & Media


09.26.2013 | J.G. et al. v. Mills is a 2004 federal court case brought by Advocates for Children of New York and the Legal Aid Society against the New York City Department of Education (DOE). The settlement requires the DOE to assist students going and coming from court-ordered facilities and the school system. Our updated fact sheet [PDF] explains students' rights under J.G.

08.29.2013 | We have updated our four fact sheets on charter schools and school co-locations. Questions and Answers about Charter Schools [PDF] (also available in Spanish [PDF]) provides an introduction to charter schools, questions to ask as you consider applying to charter schools, and the rights of parents and students in charter schools. Rights of Students with Disabilities in Charter Schools [PDF] (also available in Spanish [PDF]) explains the rights that students with disabilities have to receive special education evaluations and services at charter schools. Fact Sheet on the Legal Requirements for School Co-Location in New York City [PDF] and Appeals to the Commissioner of Education Relating to School Co-Locations [PDF] answer commonly asked questions about the requirements for school co-location and explain the process for filing an appeal to the Commissioner of Education.

8.26.2013 | New York State has been making changes to high school graduation options for students with disabilities. As before, students with disabilities may graduate high school with a Regents, Advanced Regents or Local diploma. Students who do not meet the requirements for a Regents or Local diploma may exit high school with either a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC) or a Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential. These credentials replace the “IEP Diploma,” which is no longer being offered to students with disabilities when they finish high school. They do not have the same benefits as a diploma.

To learn more, download our new fact sheets, "High School Graduation Options for Students with Disabilities" (also available in Spanish), which explains both diploma and non-diploma options available in New York State, and "New High School Credential Options for Students with Disabilities" (also available in Spanish), which describes the SACC and CDOS Commencement Credential.

8.21.2013 | AFC's fact sheet on related services for preschool students has been updated for the new school year. The fact sheet explains the process for assigning a related services provider and what to do if related services are not in place. View fact sheet

8.15.2013 | Earlier this month, AFC partnered with Legal Outreach’s internship program, which prepares urban youth from underserved communities to compete at high academic levels by using intensive legal and educational programs as tools for fostering vision, developing skills, enhancing confidence, and facilitating the pursuit of higher education. AFC hosted four high school students from the program, who spent a week learning about education law from AFC staff and visited an early intervention program for students with disabilities. As part of their internship, the students also gained hands-on experience by conducting a mock impartial hearing that addressed the provision of supports and services for a six-year-old with autism. The students played the roles of the lawyers for the parent and the DOE, while AFC staff played the DOE psychologist, principal, parent, private school teacher, and impartial hearing officer. Michera Brooks, an AFC staff attorney, says, “The students gained invaluable experience about the education law profession. We loved working with these bright and enthusiastic students all week and hope to partner again with Legal Outreach next summer.”

legal outreach interns
Aishjzae Hurt, Matthew Mojica, and Clarabelle Hernandez spent a week at AFC learning about education law (not pictured: Nadine Ahmed).

interns with staff
AFC staff with the Legal Outreach interns.

08.02.2013 | Today AFC's Early Childhood Education Project submitted comments on proposed revisions to the federal Child Care Development Fund regulations. Our suggestions are largely focused on two overarching goals that are of vital importance to the clients we serve: making it easier for low-income families to access subsidized child care so that their children can receive a high-quality early childhood education, and improving the ability of child care programs to serve children with special needs. Read comments [PDF

6.30.2013 | Today AFC participated in the New York City Pride March! This was our first year marching, and we had a great time! 

We set off at 39th Street and 5th Avenue... 

AFC marchers

And ended in the Village!

AFC marchers

06.18.2013 | Today AFC testified before the New York City Council Committee on Juvenile Justice on the educational needs of students transitioning back into the community from detention and placement. View testimony [PDF]

06.06.2013 | Today AFC testified at the Discipline Code hearing, which offers the opportunity for students, parents, teachers, and advocates to offer input into the draft of the discipline code which will go into effect during the 2013-2014 school year. AFC called for the discipline code to include meaningful information regarding behavioral supports for students with disabilities. Though students with disabilities make up 12% of the NYC public school population, they receive almost 1/3 of all suspensions. View testimony [PDF]

06.05.2013 | Today AFC testified before the City Council Committee on Finance, urging city leaders to reject shortsighted proposed cuts to early childhood education and after-school programs. Read testimony [PDF]