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Julian is a 3-year-old preschooler with delays in his language skills, but the DOE failed to provide recommended services. 

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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 2012-2016.

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®.


AFC Comments on Federal Civil Rights Regulations, September 19, 2017
AFC submitted comments to the United States Department of Education urging the Department to maintain regulations and non-regulatory guidance that delineate protections for students, especially students who have historically been marginalized or discriminated against.

AFC Testifies on Gender Sexuality Alliances, September 14, 2017
AFC testified before the City Council Education Committee in support of Gender Sexuality Alliances (GSAs) in schools and recommending that every school post the contact information for its Respect For All Liaison on the school's website.

AFC Comments on Early Intervention Program Regulations, August 27, 2017
AFC submitted comments in response to the New York State Department of Health’s proposed changes to the state Early Intervention Program regulations.

AFC Comments on Charter School Teacher Certification, August 24, 2017
AFC submitted comments on SUNY’s proposed regulations regarding charter school teacher certification. While we believe there is important work to be done across the State to strengthen teacher certification pathways, address shortages of qualified teachers in certain areas, and ensure there is an excellent teacher in every classroom, we are concerned that the proposed regulations would run counter to these goals and would violate state law.

AFC Comments on Civil Rights Data Collection, August 21, 2017
AFC submitted comments urging the U.S. Department of Education to maintain the current Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) by preserving the existing questions, requiring all schools and districts to report the data, and continuing to make the CRDC accessible to the public.

AFC Comments on Child Care for Children Living in Shelters, July 25, 2017
AFC testified before the New York City Board of Health on proposed regulations regarding child care programs in homeless shelters.  

AFC Comments on the Extension of Mayoral Control, June 19, 2017
AFC sent a letter to the New York State Assembly and Senate, urging them to approve a long-term extension of mayoral control as a stand-alone bill that is not tied to other changes in education policy.

AFC Comments on School Planning and Overcrowding, June 15, 2017
AFC submitted public comments to the City Council Working Group on School Planning, Siting, and Overcrowding, urging the Council to consider the needs of students with disabilities, as well as students, families, and school staff members who need accessible school buildings. 

AFC Comments on New York State's Draft ESSA Plan, June 14, 2017
AFC submitted public comments to the New York State Education Department on the State's draft Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan.

AFC Testifies on the Fiscal Year 2018 Executive Budget for New York City, May 25, 2017
AFC testified about the Fiscal Year 2018 city budget proposal, urging the Administration and City Council to increase funding for DOE social workers for students living in homeless shelters, Restorative Practices and other alternatives to school suspensions, and school accessibility.

AFC Testifies on the DOE's Policies Related to Interactions with Federal Immigration Authorities, April 26, 2017
AFC testified before the New York City Council Committees on Immigration, Public Safety, and Education, urging the DOE to issue guidance to address the collection of sensitive immigration information and to address the very likely situation of immigrant parents being picked up by ICE during the day, while their children are at school. 

AFC Testifies on the 2017-18 Preliminary Budget for New York City, March 21, 2017
AFC testified before the New York City Council Committee on Education on the fiscal year 2018 Preliminary Budget. We urge the Administration to include increased funding for DOE social workers for students living in homeless shelters. In addition, we request that the budget include additional resources to expand restorative practices and pilot a mental health support continuum in 20 high-needs schools. 

AFC Submits Testimony on Policing in Schools, March 20, 2017
AFC submitted testimony to the New York Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on the policies and practices of the New York City Police Department (NYPD). Our testimony focuses on how arrests, summonses, and handcuffing of students in New York City disproportionately impacts students who are Black or who have disabilities and makes recommendations to address these significant issues.

AFC Testifies on the Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Students and Families in NYC Schools, March 15, 2017
AFC testified before the New York City Council Committee on Immigration regarding the city’s plans for addressing federal immigration authorities’ requests for access to school buildings and student records.

AFC Testifies on the Preliminary Capital Education Budget, March 8, 2017
AFC testified before the New York City Council Committees on Education and Finance regarding the need for the City to invest increased funding to make additional schools accessible for students, families, and teachers with accessibility needs.

AFC Testifies on School Planning and Siting for New Capacity, February 28, 2017
AFC testified before the New York City Council Committees on Education and Finance in support of proposed legislation that would require the Department of Education to report information on school applications, offers of admission, enrollment, and school seats available. Our testimony urges the Council to ensure there are accessible school options across the City for students, teachers, and family members with mobility, hearing, and vision needs.

AFC Testifies on the 2017-18 State Education Budget Proposal, February 14, 2017
AFC testified at the New York State Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the 2017-18 Elementary and Secondary Education Budget proposal, urging legislators to invest in education initiatives such as improved access to Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs for students with disabilities and English Language Learners, the development of performance-based assessments, positive approaches to discipline, and prekindergarten.

AFC Submits Testimony on Child Care Funding, February 8, 2017
AFC submitted testimony for the New York State Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the 2017-18 Human Services Budget proposal, urging legislators to increase investments in child care so that more children from low-income backgrounds can access early childhood education programs.

AFC Testifies on the Draft NYC Discipline Code, January 25, 2017
AFC testified before the NYC Department of Education Office of Safety and Youth Development on the draft citywide discipline code, urging the DOE to continue to reform our school disciplinary system to help students stay in school and reduce the disproportionately high rates of suspension experienced by black students and students with disabilities.

AFC Submits Comments Regarding Proposed Amendments to Chancellor’s Regulation A-101, January 13, 2017
AFC submitted comments regarding the DOE’s proposed changes to Chancellor’s Regulation A-101, including changes to school selection and enrollment for students in foster care and students in temporary housing.