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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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02.08.2017 | Yesterday, Betsy DeVos was sworn in as the new U.S. Secretary of Education. In the months ahead, we expect to see changes in the implementation and enforcement of federal education laws, as well as shifts in funding priorities that may have serious implications for the low-income students and families we serve. We at Advocates for Children of New York remain dedicated to ensuring that our clients receive the quality education they deserve, no matter where they come from, how little money they have, or how much support they need. Earlier today, we sent a letter to Secretary DeVos, emphasizing the importance of the federal government’s role in ensuring that all students are safe and supported at school and urging her to prioritize strengthening public education for children at risk of academic failure or discrimination. Read a copy of our letter [PDF].

At AFC, we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us as we continue the fight for opportunity and equity in education so that all children may realize their potential. With your support, we’ll be ready to meet whatever challenges lie ahead.

No matter what happens in Washington, we will always be steadfast in our commitment to protecting the rights of all students. 

 

01.17.2017 | Today at 5pm, the United States Senate will begin the confirmation hearing of Betsy DeVos, who was nominated to be the next U.S. Secretary of Education. Advocates for Children of New York believes that this position requires extensive experience with public education and a strong record of working to strengthen public schools, which serve the vast majority of our nation’s children. Ms. DeVos does not have sufficient experience with public education. She has focused her education advocacy on opposing school accountability measures that help protect students’ rights and on supporting school vouchers that divert funding from public schools. Therefore, AFC opposes her nomination and sent a letter to New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand [PDF], urging them to oppose her confirmation. See our letter for more information, and call your Senators and ask them to vote against confirming Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. You can call 202-224-3121 to be connected to your Senators’ offices.

01.13.2017 | AFC submitted comments to the New York City Department of Education regarding proposed changes to Chancellor’s Regulation A-101, including changes to school selection and enrollment for students in foster care and students in temporary housing. View comments [PDF]

01.06.2017 | Advocates for Children has a new fact sheet on bullying, harassment, and discrimination based on race, national origin, immigration status, or religion. The fact sheet, which explains NYC Department of Education policy and what parents can do if their children experience bullying or discrimination, is available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, ChineseFrench, Haitian Creole, Russian, and Urdu [PDF]. 

report cover12.08.2016 | Today, Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) is releasing a report, Obstacles and Opportunities: Creating Career and Technical Education Pathways for Students with Disabilities [PDF], which analyzes access to high school-level career and technical education (CTE) programs for students with disabilities in New York State.  In 2015, less than 50% of students with disabilities graduated from high school in four years, compared to about 83% of general education students. The new report, which analyzes public data on outcomes for students in CTE programs, finds that more than 75% of students with disabilities who completed at least two-thirds of a CTE program went on to graduate, compared to about 90% of general education students—effectively cutting the graduation gap in half for these students.

The paper finds that although students with disabilities made up about 15% of the class that was expected to graduate in 2015, they comprised only 11.6% of students reported to have completed most of a CTE program. Based on data findings and interviews with professionals, special education advocates, and parents of students with disabilities, AFC recommends changes to policy and practice to address barriers to CTE.

View the press release [PDF]
Read the report [PDF]

12.01.2016 | Advocates for Children recently submitted “friend of the court” briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court in two cases, Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District and Stacy Fry and Brent Fry, et al. v. Napoleon Community Schools, et al. 

Endrew F. presents the important question of what makes an education “appropriate” as guaranteed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  The law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP drafted the brief on behalf of AFC. View the amicus brief [PDF

In Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools, AFC and the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) submitted an amicus brief in support of petitioners Stacy and Brent Fry, the parents of a student with cerebral palsy who was prescribed a service dog to aid her with everyday tasks. The brief argues that parents and children should not be required to exhaust the IDEA’s administrative remedies when the relief is available only under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act and not the IDEA. View the amicus brief [PDF]

10.19.2016 | Today, AFC submitted testimony to the New York City Council Committee on Education with recommendations for addressing bullying in New York City public schools and supporting LGBTQ students, students with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations. View testimony [PDF]

10.12.2016 | This November and December, the New York Region 1 Parent Training and Information Center (PTIC) Collaborative is presenting a webinar series on transition to adulthood for students with disabilities! Topics include: graduation requirements and diploma options; supporting student participation in the IEP process; available resources for transition; and services for individuals with developmental disabilities.

See the flyer [PDF] for more information and register online.
 

webinar flyer

09.30.2016 | Today, AFC submitted comments in response to the New York State Education Department’s proposed plan to promote inclusion among preschool and school-age students with disabilities. Read our comments [PDF]

09.21.2016 | Today, AFC is testifying before the New York City Council Committee on Education regarding access to Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs for students with disabilities and English Language Learners (ELLs). CTE is shown to help keep at-risk students – such as ELLs and students with disabilities – engaged and on-track for graduation; but while students with disabilities and ELLs generally do well in the city’s CTE programs, both groups are underrepresented among CTE students. View testimony [PDF]