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AFC in the News

02.13.2013 | New York Daily News | Every day of the school bus strike, some 2,500 students with disabilities aren’t getting the education they need and deserve. This op-ed by Maggie Moroff, coordinator of the ARISE Coalition and special education policy coordinator at AFC, discusses the impact of the strike on families struggling to get their children to and from school. Read article

02.11.2013 | New York Post | The threat of a prolonged strike also has advocates calling on the city to do more to help ensure that affected students — particularly those with the greatest challenges — are able to get to and from school. Despite the city’s attempts to disperse MetroCards and reimburse parents for driving or taxiing their kids to school, attendance at special-education schools has been relatively low.

“They’ve done a couple of small things . . . but they didn’t set anything up for many families that was going to work for them,” said Maggie Moroff, of Advocates for Children. She said that one family told her they tried calling 20 car services in The Bronx from a list provided by the Education Dept. before they found one that admitted being part of a prepaid ride program. “The frustration is that it’s all being put on the families and on the kids,” said Moroff. Read article

02.08.2013 | Gotham Schools | Even before the inclement weather, at least 2,500 students who attend schools in District 75, which serve special education students with the highest needs, “were still home,” Maggie Moroff, Special Education Policy Coordinator at Advocates for Children, said in her prepared remarks. For students that made it to school, Moroff said parents sacrificed hours of their work days to get them there and many students arrived late anyway. Read article

02.06.2013 | Gotham Schools | After negotiating with the Department of Education for over a week, lawyers at Advocates for Children persuaded the department on Friday to authorize Rodriguez for all four taxi rides it takes to accompany her daughter to and from school each day.

“This is an evolving policy of the Department of Education,” said Maggie Moroff, the special education policy coordinator at Advocates for Children. “Initially it was reimbursement only. Then it was pre-imbursement, but pre-imbursement for only the two trips where the child was actually in the car. Now under certain circumstances it covers all four, but that’s on a case-by-case basis. The policy is so evolving that this is the first week we’re actually seeing parents getting all four rides covered.” Read article

02.05.2013 | New York Daily News | “If the city is saving that much money, they need to be doing more to get these kids to school,” said Kim Sweet, director of Advocates for Children. “It’s outrageous.” Read article

01.30.2013 | WNYC News | Reports about the arrest and handcuffing of a 7-year-old boy following an incident at a Bronx public school are putting a spotlight how police handle school discipline. 

Eight hundred eighty-two students at school were arrested in the 2011-2012 school year and the group Advocates for Children says that number could be a lot lower with proper training of staff and school safety agents.

“More resources need to be pulled into training systems for school staff and school safety officers and generally increasing mental health services for youth,” said Bernard Dufresne, a lawyer with Advocates for Children. Read article

01.23.2013 | WABC-TV Eyewitness News | Art McFarland reports on the school bus strike.

01.17.2013 | New York Amsterdam News | Bernard Dufresne is one lucky young man. At 27 years of age, he is doing what he loves to do. Luckier still are the young people fortunate to meet him. For Dufresne, he’s just paying it forward. Dufresne is an education lawyer and staff attorney at Advocates for Children of New York. From the very start, he realized that education and positive support were the keys to success. They fuel his passion for the work he does so well. Read article

01.17.2013 | WABC-TV Eyewitness News | Because the Union and the City failed to come to an agreement by the deadline, the New York City schools lose more than 250 million dollars. "It's sad that the kids are going to pay the price," said Kim Sweet.

 

01.16.2013 | New York Post | The nonprofit Advocates for Children called on the city to do more to accommodate 54,000 kids with special needs who are likely to be severely impacted. The Manhattan group said financial hardship makes it difficult for families to front the money for car service, and disabilities may keep certain students from public transportation or private cars. Read article