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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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News & Media


09.20.2012 | AFC has several new publications to help parents and the professionals who work with them understand students' rights and options in the New York City public schools. Our Guide to Education Records [PDF] informs parents of their rights regarding their children's education records and helps them understand how to use them. Our Guide to School Suspensions [PDF] explains when a student can be suspended, what happens at a superintendent's suspension hearing, and the student's rights throughout the process. And finally, our Guide to Assistive Technology [PDF] explains what assistive technology is and how to obtain it for a student with a disability. For even more guides and resources in your area of interest, search the AFC resource library.

8.27.2012 | Advocates for Children has a newly updated fact sheet to help families of students with disabilities through the start of the school year. It covers a number of concerns that typically come up at this time of year, including:

  • What to do if a child does not yet have a school assignment or the school assigned says they cannot serve the child’s needs;
  • What to bring to a new school to enroll a child;
  • How to find an accessible school; and
  • What to do when specialized transportation is required, but not yet arranged.

Click here for the English fact sheet and here for the Spanish fact sheet.

08.06.2012 | Over the last decade, child welfare agencies and advocates have begun to recognize that the students they serve need access to greater educational opportunities, and that education is critically important to child wellbeing, permanency planning and a successful transition to adulthood. Today AFC released a new report, "Meeting the Educational Needs of Students in the Child Welfare System: Lessons Learned from the Field," which offers insights and analysis from five years implementing Project Achieve, a program that places AFC staff on site at partner foster care and preventive services agencies in New York City. The report explains how Project Achieve works and examines its long-term impact on the children and families served by these agencies, the people who work there and the city’s child welfare system itself. View report [PDF

7.26.2012 | AFC is co-hosting a community forum on bullying on August 1. Learn more and RSVP at http://action.advocate.nyc.gov/bullying.

bullying forum invite

07.10.2012 | AFC has received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest independent charity evaluator, in recognition of sound fiscal management practices and commitment to accountability and transparency. This is the fifth time that AFC has earned this top distinction in the last six years. View AFC's full rating.

06.20.2012 | AFC and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) filed a complaint today with the Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education against the DOE for its systemic failure to provide translation and interpretation services to tens of thousands of limited English proficient (LEP) parents, in violation of  local, state, and federal civil rights laws. Read the complaint [PDF] and the press release [PDF]. All exhibits, including parent affidavits, are available on file with AFC. 

press conference on steps of Tweed

AFC attorney Rigel Massaro speaking  parent holding a sign that says "I want to participate"

06.18.2012 | On June 18, 2012, AFC released a policy paper entitled "Essential Voices: Including Student and Parent Input in Teacher Evaluation." This paper makes the case for student and parent input in teacher evaluation in New York City and describes efforts other states and districts are undertaking to incorporate student and/or parent feedback into their own teacher evaluation systems. Read the paper [PDF]

06.12.2012 | AFC testified before the City Council Committee on Education about the importance of mandatory kindergarten and the need to address concerns regarding the city’s special education reform. The ARISE Coalition, coordinated by AFC, testified as well.

View AFC's testimony [PDF]
View the ARISE Coalition's testimony [PDF]

06.06.2012 | AFC testified before the New York City Council Committee on Finance, urging Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council to reject the devastating proposal to cut 47,000 children from early childhood education and after-school programs. View testimony [PDF]

06.05.2012 | AFC testified before the Office of School and Youth Development, New York City Department of Education regarding the importance to changes in the discipline code that would lead away from schools' use of punishment and exclusion and towards positive, school-wide approaches to discipline and safety that improve school climate, reduce conflict, and increase learning. View testimony [PDF]