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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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08.25.2016 | The first day of school is Thursday, September 8! In preparation, we've updated our back-to-school fact sheet for families of students with disabilities, which covers concerns that typically come up at this time of year, such as 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; how to find an accessible school; and arranging for specialized transportation. View the fact sheet in English [PDF] and Spanish [PDF]. 

If you have additional questions or need assistance, please call AFC’s Education Helpline: (866) 427-6033, Monday—Thursday, 10am—4pm.

08.08.2016 | This evening, AFC is testifying at the DOE’s hearing on proposed changes to the Discipline Code. Our testimony focuses on the proposals to ban suspensions for students in kindergarten through second grade, require schools to document supports and interventions used, and expand the options for the length of suspensions. View testimony [PDF].

05.24.2016 | Today, AFC is testifying about the city budget before the City Council Committee on Finance, asking that the final budget include increased funding for DOE social workers for students living in shelters and for restorative justice programs. View testimony [PDF]

05.19.2016 | As the New York State Senate Education Committee holds a hearing today on mayoral control of New York City schools, Kim Sweet, Executive Director of Advocates for Children of New York (AFC), released the following statement supporting a long-term extension of mayoral control: 

As a watchdog agency working to protect the rights of students, we know that there is substantial room for improvement in our public schools. But we also know that mayoral control has led to an infusion of attention and resources that has produced results for our City’s students and schools. Having monitored the City’s school system before and after mayoral control went into effect, we strongly support a long-term extension of mayoral control.

By various indicators, we have seen steady improvement in student outcomes under mayoral control. We have seen these gains for the student population as a whole as well as for subgroups of students such as students with disabilities. We have also seen mayoral initiatives, like Pre-K for All and the expansion of community schools, which would not have been possible without the ability to marshal the resources of various city agencies.

We have not agreed with every decision that Mayor Bloomberg or Mayor de Blasio has made about our City’s schools. But we agree that the mayor, as the City’s top elected leader, should be responsible for the education of the City’s students.

The question about mayoral control should focus not on who is mayor but on how we build an education system that best serves children. Mayoral control in New York City has a track record of producing results for students. We urge the State Legislature to approve a long-term extension of mayoral control.

View press statement [PDF]
View testimony submitted to the New York State Senate Education Committee [PDF]

04.19.2016 | Today, AFC is testifying before the New York City Council Committees on Education and Mental Health, Developmental Disability, Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Disability Services about the need to make certain that our public schools are prepared to provide all students, including those with dyslexia and other disabilities, with appropriate, evidence-based literacy instruction. View our full testimony [PDF]

03.31.2016 | On Thursday, April 14, AFC's Junior Board and NYU Law School's Education Law and Policy Society will hold a panel on technology and education equity. The event is free, but please register in advance if you plan on attending. 

event flyer

03.14.2016 | AFC presented this white paper, Discipline for Students with Disabilities: Support Rather than Exclusion, the national conference of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA). The paper discusses the rights of students with disabilities to behavioral supports, and individual and systemic advocacy strategies that provide support for students with disabilities instead of excluding them from school. View white paper [PDF]

01.27.2016 | Today, AFC is testifying at the New York State Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the 2016-2017 Elementary and Secondary Education Budget proposal, urging legislators to increase investments in education programs such as Career and Technical Education (CTE), prekindergarten, and support for English Language Learners (ELLs). Earlier this week, AFC also submitted testimony on the 2016-2017 Health Budget proposal, urging legislators to reject a budget proposal to restructure the Early Intervention screening and evaluation process and to increase funding for home visiting programs. View our Education Budget testimony [PDF] and our Health Budget testimony [PDF].

01.19.2016 | On the evening of February 10, the ARISE Coalition (which is coordinated by AFC) will be sponsoring a panel and parent speak out on assistive technology for students with disabilities. Download a larger, PDF version of the flyer in English and Spanish.

event flyer

01.07.2016 | AFC joins our colleagues throughout New York in mourning the passing of Judith Kaye, the State’s former Chief Judge. We were privileged to partner with Judge Kaye in her advocacy to keep kids in school and out of courts. Judge Kaye knew that courts are no place for children to grow up. Thanks to her passionate, articulate, and effective leadership, we have seen school-justice partnerships take hold across the nation, with the goal of ending the school-to-prison pipeline and providing young people with safe and supportive learning environments. Judge Kaye was one of our heroes, and we will miss her greatly.

judge kaye speaks with stash

Judge Kaye speaks with student honoree Stash M. at AFC's 2010 Spring Benefit, at which she received the Jill Chaifetz Award in recognition of her work on behalf of New York's children and youth.

judge kaye at podium 



Judge Kaye announces the release of the report and recommendations of the New York City School-Justice Partnership Task Force (May 2013).