Advocates for Children's Services
Advocates for Children's Services (ACS) is a statewide project of Legal Aid of North Carolina that focuses on serving children in the public education system. ACS cases involve: short-term suspension; long-term suspension; expulsion; involuntary transfers to alternative school; denial of enrollment; discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, sex or disability; mistreatment by school security personnel; special education; bullying; and academic failure.
In addition to providing direct legal services to clients, ACS provides community education in the form of publications, presentations, trainings, and media outreach, and collaborates with other organizations and individuals working for education justice. To request a presentation or training, contact ACS Supervising Attorney Jen Story by email or by phone at 919-226-5921.
To be eligible for services from ACS, a child must live in a household with an income not more than 187.5 percent of the federal poverty level, or live in foster care. Legal Aid of North Carolina screens all applicants to determine if they meet financial and other requirements for service.
General Tips and Tools: How to Be Your Student’s Number One Advocate at School - This toolkit includes general tips and tools that parents, guardians, and advocates can use in navigating the school system and making sure that their voices are heard.
Enrollment - This toolkit includes information about students’, guardians’, and caregivers’ rights related to school enrollment, as well as tips to use in making sure that students are not unlawfully denied enrollment.
General Education Interventions and Section 504 Plans - This toolkit includes information about students’ rights, as well as practical tips and tools to use in accessing academic, behavioral, and other supports for students who are struggling but may not qualify for special-education services.
Special Education - This toolkit includes information about the special-education rights of students and guardians in schools, as well as tips and tools to use in making sure that students receive all of the support they need and to which they are legally entitled.
School Discipline - This toolkit includes information about students’ and guardians’ rights related to school discipline, as well as tips and tools to use in preventing or overturning suspensions.
Bullying - This toolkit includes information about students’ and guardians’ rights related to bullying in schools, as well as additional tips and tools to use in trying to prevent or therapeutically intervene to stop ongoing bullying.
Know Your Rights Handbook
County fact sheets
In these fact sheets for Wake, Durham and Guilford County Schools, we report on school district demographics and opportunity gaps for certain groups of students in the 2017-18 school year. The fact sheets highlight the disproportionality of how school districts serve and punish students in the areas of academic achievement, school discipline and policing, and court involvement. The fact sheets report on the opportunity gaps of students in these districts by looking at the factors of race, disability, economic disadvantage and language. We also spotlight the practice of Disciplinary Reassignment and dive into academic and discipline disproportionality data for "alternative" district schools. Data from the fact sheets was mostly drawn from NC Department of Public Instruction and county public record requests.
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