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Emely spent years struggling academically because she was not identified as a student with a learning disability.

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Policy Agenda

Policy Agenda

AFC’s mission is to ensure a high-quality education for New York students who face barriers to academic success, focusing on students from low-income backgrounds.  At a minimum, this education must allow all students to become literate, develop social-emotional competence, and prepare for successful adult lives.  In working toward these goals, parents must have the opportunity to play a meaningful role in their children’s education.

AFC focuses on assisting the students who need the most support to overcome barriers and succeed in school.  Each year, we help thousands of individual students and parents navigate the New York City education system.  Our on-the-ground experience allows us to identify systemic problems and solutions, driving our policy priorities.

We advocate for policies that promote:

  • Improved educational programs, opportunities, and outcomes for students from low-income families, students of color, students with disabilities, English Language Learners, students living in temporary housing, LGBTQ students, and students involved in the child welfare or the juvenile or criminal justice systems.

  • Positive approaches to discipline that reduce disparities in suspension rates based on race and disability and keep students in school.

  • School stability for students, particularly students experiencing homelessness and students in foster care so they can remain in their school even if their living situation changes.

  • Access to high-quality early childhood education programs and services that prepare zero-to-five-year-old children for kindergarten.

  • Multiple pathways to high school graduation, including paths that do not rely on high-stakes standardized testing, so that more students can graduate and access college or employment.

  • Parent empowerment so all parents, including parents with Limited English Proficiency and parents of students with disabilities, can participate meaningfully in their children’s education.

  • Protection from discrimination for students in traditional public schools and charter schools.

thumbnail image of fy24 budget prioritiesAFC's Fiscal Year 2024 City Budget Priorities | Winter 2023

Learn more about each of AFC's advocacy priorities for this year's City budget, including extending and baselining funding for several key education programs whose funding will expire in June 2023; ensuring every student learns to read; bolstering English Language Learner transfer school programs; expanding schoolwide restorative justice practices to 500 high schools; guaranteeing bus service for students in foster care; supporting students and families in shelter; and ensuring preschoolers with disabilities receive evaluations and mandated services.

Read our full FY24 budget priorities [PDF]
Learn more about each individual priority

cover of mayoral recommendationsVision for NYC Schools: AFC's Recommendations for the Next Administration | November 2021

Mayor-elect Eric Adams will take office at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the longstanding inequities in our City’s schools. Based on our 50 years of on-the-ground experience helping students and families navigate the largest school system in the country and get the support they need to learn, we outline some of the most pressing challenges in public education — including those that pre-date COVID — where the incoming Mayor must be prepared to focus attention, energy, and resources.

Read the full recommendations [PDF]