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Paige, a bright third grade student on the autism spectrum, sat at home for nearly two months waiting for a school placement that would meet her needs. 

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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

6.18.2013 | Today AFC testified before the New York City Council Committee on Juvenile Justice on the educational needs of students transitioning back into the community from detention and placement. View testimony

6.06.2013 | Today AFC testified at the Discipline Code hearing, which offers the opportunity for students, parents, teachers, and advocates to offer input into the draft of the discipline code which will go into effect during the 2013-2014 school year. AFC called for the discipline code to include meaningful information regarding behavioral supports for students with disabilities. Though students with disabilities make up 12% of the NYC public school population, they receive almost 1/3 of all suspensions. View testimony

6.05.2013 | Today AFC testified before the City Council Committee on Finance, urging city leaders to reject shortsighted proposed cuts to early childhood education and after-school programs. Read testimony

5.30.2013 | Last year, there were 69,694 suspensions and 2,548 arrests and summonses in the New York City public schools. Research and experience have shown that we can keep our schools safe while reducing these high rates of suspensions and arrests, which are linked to high rates of school failure, drop out, and future court involvement. We need effective and fair school discipline, with schools creating and nurturing a climate and culture that promote positive behavior, and we need targeted, consistent collaboration between the education, justice, and social service systems, as well as the communities they serve. Today the New York City School-Justice Partnership Task Force released a report outlining a plan of action for the next mayor to lead a city-wide effort to keep kids in school and out of court. The New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children, working with Advocates for Children of New York, sponsored the New York City School-Justice Partnership Task Force with support from the law firm of Skadden Arps and a grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies.

Read the report and recommendations
Read the press release 


task force membersDamon Hewitt, NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Kim Sweet, Advocates for Children of New York; Joan Gabbidon, Kings County District Attorney's Office; Judge Judith Kaye; Judge Monica Drinane, Bronx County Family Court; Kathleen DeCataldo, NYS Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children; Timothy Lisante, District 79, NYC Department of Education

View more photos

5.16.2013 | Thank you to everyone who supported our 2013 Spring Benefit! More than 600 guests joined us last night at 360° to celebrate this year’s honorees, John J. Mack and Zio Correa, Jr. Your generosity will allow us to protect the right to learn for even more New York City students in the coming year. 

Pictured left to right: AFC Board member Eric Grossman; presenter Dr. Steven Corwin; AFC Executive Director Kim Sweet; John J. Mack, recipient of the Jill Chaifetz Award; Zio Correa, Jr., recipient of the Education Champion Award; and presenter Natalie Morales. View more event photos


Watch honoree Zio Correa, Jr. and his father speak at the benefit. View more event videos