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10.02.2013 | AFC submitted testimony to the Education Committee of the New York City Council supporting a one-year moratorium on school closings and additional community notification, but opposing a resolution giving Community Education Councils veto power over proposed co-locations. Read our testimony.

9.26.2013 | J.G. et al. v. Mills is a 2004 federal court case brought by Advocates for Children of New York and the Legal Aid Society against the New York City Department of Education (DOE). The settlement requires the DOE to assist students going and coming from court-ordered facilities and the school system. Our updated fact sheet explains students' rights under J.G.

9.04.2013 | The Student Safety Coalition, a diverse group of educators, parents, students, advocates and legal experts, today called on New York City’s next mayor to implement reforms to end overly aggressive policing in the city schools and restore authority over school discipline to professional educators. Read the press release here and the Coalition's guiding principles here.

Kim Sweet speaking at press conference
AFC Executive Director Kim Sweet speaking at the press conference.

student organizers holding banners and signs
Student organizers and other attendees.

8.30.2013 | AFC has a newly updated fact sheet to help families of students with disabilities through the start of the school year. It covers a number of concerns that typically come up at this time of year, including: 

  • What to do if a child does not yet have a school assignment or the school assigned says they cannot serve the child’s needs; 
  • How to find an accessible school; and 
  • What to bring to a new school to enroll your child.

Click here to view the fact sheet in English and here to view it in Spanish.

8.29.2013 | We have updated our four fact sheets on charter schools and school co-locations. Questions and Answers about Charter Schools (also available in Spanish) 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) explains the rights that students with disabilities have to receive special education evaluations and services at charter schools. Fact Sheet on the Legal Requirements for School Co-Location in New York City and Appeals to the Commissioner of Education Relating to School Co-Locations answer commonly asked questions about the requirements for school co-location and explain the process for filing an appeal to the Commissioner of Education.

8.26.2013 | New York State has been making changes to high school graduation options for students with disabilities. As before, students with disabilities may graduate high school with a Regents, Advanced Regents or Local diploma. Students who do not meet the requirements for a Regents or Local diploma may exit high school with either a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC) or a Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential. These credentials replace the “IEP Diploma,” which is no longer being offered to students with disabilities when they finish high school. They do not have the same benefits as a diploma.

To learn more, download our new fact sheets, "High School Graduation Options for Students with Disabilities" (also available in Spanish), which explains both diploma and non-diploma options available in New York State, and "New High School Credential Options for Students with Disabilities" (also available in Spanish), which describes the SACC and CDOS Commencement Credential.

8.21.2013 | AFC's fact sheet on related services for preschool students has been updated for the new school year. The fact sheet explains the process for assigning a related services provider and what to do if related services are not in place. View fact sheet

8.15.2013 | Earlier this month, AFC partnered with Legal Outreach’s internship program, which prepares urban youth from underserved communities to compete at high academic levels by using intensive legal and educational programs as tools for fostering vision, developing skills, enhancing confidence, and facilitating the pursuit of higher education. AFC hosted four high school students from the program, who spent a week learning about education law from AFC staff and visited an early intervention program for students with disabilities. As part of their internship, the students also gained hands-on experience by conducting a mock impartial hearing that addressed the provision of supports and services for a six-year-old with autism. The students played the roles of the lawyers for the parent and the DOE, while AFC staff played the DOE psychologist, principal, parent, private school teacher, and impartial hearing officer. Michera Brooks, an AFC staff attorney, says, “The students gained invaluable experience about the education law profession. We loved working with these bright and enthusiastic students all week and hope to partner again with Legal Outreach next summer.”

legal outreach interns
Aishjzae Hurt, Matthew Mojica, and Clarabelle Hernandez spent a week at AFC learning about education law (not pictured: Nadine Ahmed).

interns with staff
AFC staff with the Legal Outreach interns.

8.02.2013 | Today AFC's Early Childhood Education Project submitted comments on proposed revisions to the federal Child Care Development Fund regulations. Our suggestions are largely focused on two overarching goals that are of vital importance to the clients we serve: making it easier for low-income families to access subsidized child care so that their children can receive a high-quality early childhood education, and improving the ability of child care programs to serve children with special needs. Read comments

6.30.2013 | Today AFC participated in the New York City Pride March! This was our first year marching, and we had a great time! 

We set off at 39th Street and 5th Avenue... 

AFC marchers

And ended in the Village!

AFC marchers