Operations / Administration Education Advocate
Advocates for Children of New York (“AFC”) seeks a full-time Education Advocate to assist AFC families with school disciplinary meetings or hearings, IEP meetings, and mediation of special education cases, as appropriate, and to provide training and outreach to students, families and professionals on the education rights of New York City students and parents. The Advocate will work at the intersection of disability and racial justice and help families, including families of students with disabilities, protect their children’s rights and obtain services and support for their children, with an emphasis on issues pertaining to social, emotional, and behavioral support for students and school discipline. This position will report to the Director of AFC’s Parent Center and will be supervised on school discipline cases by AFC’s School Justice Project (“SJP”) staff.
AFC is a dynamic social justice organization that strives to ensure a high-quality education for New York students who face barriers to academic success, focusing on students from low- income backgrounds. AFC works on behalf of children and youth who are at greatest risk of academic failure due to poverty, race, ethnicity, disability, homelessness, immigration status/limited English proficiency, or involvement in the child welfare or juvenile/criminal legal systems. We use uniquely integrated strategies to advance systemic reform, empower families and communities, and advocate for the educational rights of individual students.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:
- Participates in activities and initiatives of AFC’s federally funded Parent Training and Information Center (“PTIC”) and at times, represents AFC in national, state, regional, and city convenings to promote and support engagement and empowerment of families with children with disabilities.
- Investigates school discipline cases for families of students facing suspension, assists with hearing preparation (e.g., obtaining the suspension packet and disposition packet, analyzing documents, drafting disposition letters) and works with SJP attorneys to advocate for families at in-person suspension hearings; follows up to obtain dispositions, decisions, and transcripts; and assists families with student reentry to school.
- Works with SJP attorneys to advocate for families of students with disabilities facing school discipline at Manifestation Determination Reviews to determine whether the student must be allowed in school.
- Advocates on behalf of families in other school discipline-related or special education matters, including, for example, advocating for alternatives to suspension, such as restorative justice practices; accompanying a parent to an IEP meeting; or assisting a parent in a mediation to obtain special education support or services.
- Helps draft appeals of school discipline cases, when
- Provides outreach, training, clinics, and technical assistance to families, students, and professionals on a variety of education-related topics, such as the rights of students and families with respect to special education, behavior supports, bullying, and school
- Participates in community education/outreach
- Develops collaborative relationships with professionals and other organizations to better serve families that need assistance.
- Maintains contemporaneous and accurate record keeping in our
- BA/BS degree
- Fluency in Spanish
- Ability to work occasional evenings and
- Experience working on issues related to public education, particularly school discipline or special education, preferred.
- Commitment and ability to empower families that are the focus of AFC’s
- Strong interpersonal and oral communication skills, including ability to think clearly on your feet, exercise wise judgment, and make clear presentations and arguments without extensive preparation.
- Ability to write clearly and
- Ability to multi-task, continually re-prioritize, and self-manage
- Self-starter who can work both independently and collaboratively with a variety of people and within multiple teams.
- Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, flexibility, initiative, maturity, and cooperative attitude.
How to apply
Send an email with “Education Advocate” in the subject line with a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to Educationadvocate@advocatesforchildren.org. Candidates should highlight any personal or professional experience that demonstrates their connection to the populations that AFC serves. Only candidates being scheduled for interviews will be contacted. The position is available immediately, and resumes will be considered on a rolling basis. For more information on AFC, see www.advocatesforchildren.org.
The salary range for this position is $54,000 – $63,528, depending on experience, and includes generous benefits, including health, dental, PTO, professional development, etc.
AFC’s current compensation package includes full payment of medical plan premiums for a Platinum medical plan for staff and their qualified dependents; dental coverage; coverage of the premium cost of life insurance and long- and short-term disability insurance; a 403(b) plan with a fully vested employer match; 12 weeks of paid parental leave after one year of employment; and generous time-off policies, including 15 vacation days and an additional 15 paid time off days in the first year of employment.
AFC’s office is located by Penn Station in Manhattan, and we use a hybrid approach. Currently, this position is expected to work two days a week in the office and remotely on the remaining days, though may on occasion need to work in person on additional days if needed to perform the duties of their job.
COVID vaccination required.
AFC is an affirmative action employer that actively seeks to recruit and retain a diverse staff and especially encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, parents of persons with disabilities, persons of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or gender expressions and persons of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.
AFC is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation when requested by a qualified applicant or employee with a disability or other protected characteristic. The policy regarding requests for reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment, including the application process. For more information and to request an accommodation, contact Human Resources at HR@advocatesforchildren.org.