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Glen’s Story

Glen was repeatedly suspended from school for minor offenses that were related to his disability.

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Who We Serve

Students Attending Charter Schools

Students Attending Charter Schools

Advocates for Children of New York serves all New York City students from birth through age 26, including students in charter schools. As charter schools differ from community schools in terms of accountability structures and applicable laws, we started an initiative on charter schools to build our expertise in this area.

Individual Case Assistance
AFC's Charter Schools Initiative provides advice and legal representation for low-income parents of students who are struggling in charter schools, suspended or in danger of expulsion from charter schools, failing to receive their special education services, or experiencing discrimination. 

Community Education
The Charter Schools Initiative provides informative workshops and trainings for parents of students in charter schools and charter school operators. 

Policy Advocacy 
AFC advocates for students, including students with disabilities, English Language Learners, and students with behavioral challenges, to receive the programs and supports they need to succeed at charter schools when their parents choose this option.

Guides & Resources

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®.

For more guides and resources, please visit our resource library.

Questions and Answers about Charter Schools (also available in Spanish)
This fact sheet provides an introduction to charter schools, questions to ask as you consider applying to charter schools, and the rights of parents and students in charter schools.

Rights of Students with Disabilities in Charter Schools (also available in Spanish)
This fact sheet explains the rights that students with disabilities have to receive special education evaluations and services at charter schools.

Guide to Charter School Discipline 
This guide explains discipline for charter school students, what to do if your child has been suspended from a charter school, how to appeal a charter school's suspension decision, and your rights throughout the process. The guide also includes information for families of students with disabilities who have been suspended.

Guide to Preventing & Addressing Bullying in Charter Schools (also available in Spanish)
This guide describes bullying and signs your child may be bullied. It also describes your rights if your child is bullied or accused of bullying others and attends a New York City charter school, including special protections for students with disabilities.  

Policy Reports

Civil Rights Suspended report coverCivil Rights Suspended: An Analysis of New York City Charter School Discipline Policies
This February 2015 report describes findings made from AFC's review of 164 New York City charter school discipline policies obtained through Freedom of Information Law requests. A significant number of City charter schools have discipline policies that fail to meet the legal requirements, leading to violations of students’ and parents’ civil rights. The report includes recommendations for state legislators to consider as they discuss raising the cap on charter schools and ensuring that charter schools serve high-needs students. 

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