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Policy & Initiatives

Public Comments & Testimony

Public Comments & Testimony

Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) has our finger on the pulse of important education issues and education policy trends that affect children in New York City and New York State. We are on the forefront of pushing to improve education policy, so that all children have access to a quality education.

Below are AFC’s most recent public comments and testimonies. Please see our archive for comments and testimonies from 2012-2017.

Note: The following resources are in PDF format and will open in a new window. To view PDF files, download the following free software: Get Adobe® Reader®.

2019

Sign-On Letter Calling for Transportation for Students in Foster Care, September 27, 2019
AFC joined 25 child welfare and education organizations in calling on the City to abide by federal and state law and honor its commitment to guarantee bus service or a comparable mode of transportation to kindergarten through sixth-grade students in foster care. Although the adopted city budget states that the Administration agreed to ensure bus service for students in foster care, the Department of Education is continuing to deny requests for bus service.

AFC Testifies on Multiple Pathways to a Diploma, September 24, 2019
AFC, on behalf of the Coalition for Multiple Pathways to a Diploma, testified before the City Council Committee on Education on high-stakes tests and the need for more ways to determine that students have mastered high school graduation standards.

AFC Testifies on the Education of Students Living in Domestic Violence Shelters, September 24, 2019
AFC testified before the City Council Committee on General Welfare and Committee on Women and Gender Equity about the education of students living in domestic violence shelters and legislation related to students living in shelters.

AFC Submits Comments on the Proposed Discipline Code, July 30, 2019
Advocates for Children and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) jointly submitted comments to the New York City Department of Education on proposed changes to the New York City Discipline Code for the 2019-2020 school year.

AFC Testifies on the New York City FY 2020 Executive Budget, May 23, 2019
AFC testified before the City Council Committee on Finance on the importance of increasing funding for several education priorities, including school social workers, direct mental health support for students, and educational support for students who are homeless and students in foster care.

AFC Comments on Proposed Amendments to Chancellor’s Regulation A-780 and on Revised Proposed Amendments to Chancellor’s Regulation A-780, March 26, 2019, and April 15, 2019
AFC submitted comments in response to the DOE’s proposed changes to the Chancellor’s Regulations regarding the education of students in temporary housing, including the importance of bus service for kindergarten through sixth grade students living in shelters.

AFC Testifies in Support of the Proposed 2020-2024 Capital Plan, March 27, 2019
Tonight, AFC is testifying before the Panel for Educational Policy in support of the City’s proposal to include $750 million to improve school accessibility in the 2020-2024 Capital Plan. That investment in accessibility, the City’s largest to date, will literally open doors to include and integrate individuals who are far too often excluded because of their accessibility needs. 

AFC Testifies on the New York City FY 2020 Preliminary Education Budget, March 20, 2019
AFC testified before the City Council Committee on Education on the importance of increasing funding for several education priorities, including school social workers, direct mental health support for students, educational support for students who are homeless and students in foster care, and preschool special education programs. 

AFC Testifies on ThriveNYC and Meeting the Needs of Students with Mental Health Challenges, February 27, 2019
AFC testified before the New York City Council Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities and Addiction regarding the gap in access to direct mental health services and behavior supports for students with significant emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs.

AFC Testifies on the Provision of Special Education Services, February 25, 2019
Advocates for Children testified before the New York City Council Committee on Education regarding the provision of special education services. The City must do more to extend the vision of equity and excellence in education to students with disabilities and to ensure that the needs of students with disabilities are considered and addressed in every DOE policy decision.

AFC Submits Testimony on Early Intervention, February 14, 2019
AFC submitted testimony for the New York State Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the 2019-2020 Health Budget proposal, urging legislators to increase the reimbursement rate for Early Intervention providers to help ensure children can get their services in a timely manner.

AFC Testifies on the 2019-2020 State Budget Proposal, February 6, 2019
AFC testified at the New York State Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the 2019-2020 Elementary and Secondary Education Budget proposal, urging legislators to increase investments in education initiatives such as positive approaches to discipline, preschool special education programs, prekindergarten, and support for Multilingual Learners, and to reject harmful special education proposals. 

2018

AFC Testifies on the Proposed 5-Year Capital Plan, December 18, 2018
AFC testified before the New York City Council Committee on Education, Committee on Finance, and Subcommittee on Capital Budget in support of the proposal to include $750 million in the FY 2020-2024 Capital Plan to improve school accessibility.

AFC Testifies on Students in Homeless Shelters, December 17, 2018
Advocates for Children testified before the City Council Committee on General Welfare regarding recommendations for supporting students living in shelters.

AFC Comments on Graduation Participation for Students with Disabilities Receiving Non-Diploma Credentials, December 3, 2018
AFC submitted public comment to the New York State Education Department on a proposed amendment to the regulation about the right of students with disabilities receiving SACC and CDOS credentials to participate in graduation ceremonies and activities. We urged NYSED to require schools to inform families that these students have the right to stay in school through age 21 or until they earn a diploma, regardless of their participation in graduation activities.

AFC Testifies on Busing for Students with Disabilities, November 29, 2018
AFC testified before the New York City Council Committees on Education, Sanitation and Solid Waste Management, and Transportation about the experiences of students with disabilities on school buses during the recent snowstorm and the importance of passing legislation to provide parents with access to real-time GPS data for their children’s school buses.

AFC Testifies on Reentry Programs for Formerly Incarcerated Youth, November 13, 2018
AFC testified before the New York City Council Committees on Juvenile Justice and Youth Services on the educational reentry programming needs of New York City’s formerly incarcerated youth.

AFC Calls for Busing for Students in Foster Care, November 2, 2018
Advocates for Children, along with more than 30 other organizations, sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio calling on him to provide busing for kindergarten through sixth grade students in foster care. For students who have been separated from their families, school has the potential to be an important stabilizing factor in their life, but the City currently guarantees bus service only to students in foster care who receive special education transportation.

AFC Testifies on Mental Health in Schools, October 23, 2018
AFC testified before the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Education regarding the current state of health, mental health, and physical education programs, services, and instruction in New York State’s schools.

AFC Testifies on School Transportation, October 16, 2018
AFC testified before the City Council Committee on Education about the importance of improving the school transportation system, especially for students with disabilities, students in foster care, and students in temporary housing, and in support of a bill to provide real-time GPS bus location data to parents.  

AFC Writes Chancellor Carranza Regarding Busing Problems, September 27, 2018
AFC sent a letter to Chancellor Carranza regarding start-of-school problems with busing. The letter shared a number of cases that are illustrative of what families, especially families of students with disabilities, routinely experience. 

AFC Testifies on School Emergency Preparedness and Safety, September 20, 2018
AFC testified before the New York City Council Committee on Public Safety and Committee on Education regarding a proposal to establish a school emergency preparedness task force and a resolution calling for one guidance counselor and social worker for every 250 students and at least one guidance counselor and social worker per school.

The ARISE Coalition Calls for Increased Funding for School Accessibility, September 12, 2018
The ARISE Coalition (which is coordinated by AFC) and Parents for Inclusive Education (PIE) sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio asking that the City include a major investment in the FY 2020-2024 School Construction Authority Five-Year Capital Plan to make at least one-third of schools accessible to students, parents, and teachers with physical disabilities.

AFC Comments on State Early Intervention Program Regulations, August 31, 2018
AFC submitted comments in response to the New York State Department of Health’s proposed changes to the state Early Intervention Program regulations.

AFC Submits Comments on the Implementation of New York’s Approved ESSA Plan, August 17, 2018
Advocates for Children of New York submitted comments to the New York State Education Department on proposed amendments to the regulations regarding New York’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) accountability system. Our comments discuss the proposed definition of “out-of-school suspension rate” as well as the State's method for calculating chronic absenteeism.

AFC Submits Comments on Proposed Amendments to Regulations about the Dignity for All Students Act, July 21, 2018
AFC submitted comments to the New York State Education Department in support of proposed amendments to regulations about the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA). 

AFC Testifies on Early Childhood Education Programs, June 27, 2018
AFC testified before the City Council Committee on Education and Committee on General Welfare about how 3-K, Pre-K, and EarlyLearn can better serve students who are homeless, Dual Language Learners, and students with disabilities. Read our client’s testimony about how her four-year-old son has been waiting months for a seat in a preschool special education class due to the DOE’s shortage.

AFC Testifies on the Fiscal Year 2019 Executive Budget, May 24, 2018
AFC testified before the City Council Committee on Finance on the importance of increasing funding for several education priorities, including school social workers for students living in shelter, school accessibility for students with physical disabilities, and evidence-based practices to improve school climate.

AFC Testifies on Preventing and Addressing Bullying, April 26, 2018
AFC testified before the New York City Council Committee on Youth Services regarding a proposal to establish an anti-bullying hotline and an anti-bullying mobile device application. AFC urges the City to invest in building positive, inclusive school climates by implementing anti-bullying training and funding whole-school evidence-based approaches.

AFC Comments on School Accessibility, April 25, 2018
AFC spoke before the DOE’s Panel for Educational Policy about the need to increase funding to make more schools accessible to students, families, and teachers with physical disabilities.

AFC Testifies on NYC's Support for Immigrant Parents of Children Ages 0-5, April 24, 2018
AFC testified before the City Council Immigration Committee about the importance of addressing barriers that immigrant families face in accessing preschool special education evaluations and other early childhood education programs. 

AFC Comments on Child Care Programs, April 18, 2018
AFC submitted comments to the New York City Board of Health on proposed regulations regarding child care, with a focus on children who are homeless and children with developmental delays or disabilities.

AFC Testifies on the School Building Challenge, April 18, 2018
AFC testified before the City Council Committees on Education, Finance, and Land Use about the need to increase resources to make more NYC schools accessible to students, families, and staff with physical disabilities.

AFC Testifies on the Preliminary FY19 Expense Budget, March 23, 2018
AFC Testifies on the Preliminary FY19 Capital Budget, March 26, 2018
AFC testified before the New York City Council Committee on Education regarding the Fiscal Year 2019 Preliminary Budget, calling for increased funding for support for students in temporary housing, busing for students in foster care, school climate initiatives, and improving school accessibility.

AFC Testifies on the Continuum of NYC’s Juvenile Justice System, February 28, 2018
AFC testified before the New York City Council Committee on Juvenile Justice on the educational needs of New York City’s court-involved youth while in juvenile detention and placement, and after their release from these settings.

AFC Testifies on Community and Renewal Schools, February 27, 2018
AFC testified before the City Council Committee on Education at a hearing on community schools, renewal schools, and a special education reporting bill.

AFC Comments on Proposed Changes to Chancellor’s Regulation A-101, February 13, 2018
AFC submitted comments on the DOE’s proposed changes to Chancellor’s Regulation A-101 regarding school transfers, admissions, and enrollment.

AFC Submits Testimony on Early Intervention, February 12, 2018
AFC submitted testimony for the New York State Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the 2018-2019 Health Budget proposal, urging legislators to increase the reimbursement rate for Early Intervention providers and to reject a budget proposal to restructure the Early Intervention screening and evaluation process.

AFC Testifies on the New York State Executive Budget Proposal, January 31, 2018
AFC testified at the New York State Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the 2018-2019 Elementary and Secondary Education Budget proposal, urging legislators to increase investments in education initiatives such as positive approaches to discipline, prekindergarten, and support for English Language Learners and to reject harmful special education proposals.