BRONZE2023

Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Inc.

removing barriers to education

aka MAC   |   Boston, MA   |  www.massadvocates.org

Mission

Massachusetts Advocates for Children’s mission is to remove barriers to educational and life opportunities for children and youth. We do so by advocating for and partnering with students and families; transforming school cultures to be inclusive, safe and supportive; and creating systemic change so all children and youth can learn, reach their potential, and thrive. We focus our advocacy on children and youth who face significant barriers, inequities, and/or discrimination because of their economic status, disability, race, ethnicity/culture, immigration status, English Learner status, and/or traumatic life experiences.

Ruling year info

1971

Principal Officer

Anna Krieger

Main address

25 Kingston Street, 2nd Floor

Boston, MA 02111 USA

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Formerly known as

Massachusetts Advocacy Center

Task Force on Children Out of School

EIN

04-2488456

NTEE code info

dren's Rights (Rhi)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Disabled Persons' Rights (R23)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Autism Special Education Legal Support Center

The Autism Center provides training, technical assistance and advocacy services to ensure that children with autism spectrum disorder (“ASD”) overcome lowered expectations and receive equal educational opportunities. School systems in MA continue to face large increases of children diagnosed with ASD.  Most recent studies from the CDC indicate that the prevalence of ASD is now as high as 1 per every 110 children. Children on the spectrum face tremendous obstacles in the public schools, which frequently limit service options based on erroneous presumptions about limited competence and educational potential of children with autism. The Center follows MAC’s multi-strategic approach of individual case advocacy, education and training to parents and professionals, research and reports, and advocacy for systemic change at the school district level (e.g., Lawrence and Boston) and at the statewide policy level (i.e., legislative and administrative).

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

MAC’s Racial Equity and Access Project (REAP) works collaboratively to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and transform K-12 education into a racially equitable system in Boston.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

CLSP has three components: a) Helpline- Over 900 parents and others call annually to assist a child who is being denied their rights under the special education law or who needs assistance for a school exclusion issue. MAC provides advice, intensive technical assistance or legal case representation; b) Statewide legal services advocacy and support- MAC coordinates a statewide legal and legislative agenda on behalf of vulnerable low income children, including those who are homeless, at risk of school expulsion, or have mental illness. The priority legislative agenda item is to keep kids in school by reducing the impact of zero tolerance policies that expel or suspend students; and c) Pro-bono network. MAC has a pro bono partnership with the law firm, DLA Piper, which takes numerous individual cases and assists on systemic advocacy projects. MAC also recruits other attorneys from the private bar and provides all pro bono attorneys and others with training and technical assistance.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

MAC has become the leading advocate in the state protecting the rights of students with disabilities, conducting effective legislative and administrative advocacy, developing training curricula to empower parents, convening a statewide coalition, and mobilizing parents and advocates to defend special education. MAC’s legislative successes over the years resulted in many new provisions in the law, for example: requiring school districts to establish special education PACs (Parent Advisory Councils); strengthening parents’ independent evaluation rights; establishing an MCAS appeals process for students with disabilities; and establishing rights of parents and their experts to observe their child’s classroom. MAC currently convenes and staffs a Collaborative of the major special education stakeholders in the state who have agreed to work together on a number of priorities, including improving transition planning, services and opportunities for youth with disabilities, age 14-22.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

TLPI is a partnership between MAC and Harvard Law School. Its mission is to ensure that all children traumatized by exposure to family violence and other adverse childhood experiences succeed in school. To reach this goal, TLPI advocates for trauma-sensitive school environments with individual supports. This groundbreaking initiative works at three levels. First, through the Harvard Law Clinic, it provides individual case advocacy for children who have had traumatic experiences. Second, it works with individual schools to help them become trauma-sensitive environments where children impacted by trauma can focus, behave, and learn. Finally, the project mobilizes parents and educators to bring the voice of traumatized children to the legislative and executive branches where policy is being made. For example, TLPI played a leadership role in a state report and currently to support legislation that recommends all schools adopt a "safe and supportive schools" framework by 2017.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

United Way Member Agency

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Financials

Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 07/21/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Eileen Hagerty

Kotin Crabtree & Strong LLP

Term: 2019 - 2021

Jacquelynne Bowman

Greater Boston Legal Services

Eileen Hagerty

Kotin, Crabtree & Strong LLP

Matthew Iverson

DLA Piper (US) LLP

Martin Guay

Stanley

Robert Shusterman

Ally Financial

Margareth Sodre

Parent

Michael Fleischer

Seyfarth & Shaw

Richard Howard

Attorney

Sharon Hamel

Atlantic Trust

Carlos Rojas Alvarez

Youth member

David Barone

Community Volunteer

Johnnie Hamilton-Mason

Simmons College

Salima Slimane

Community Volunteer- parent of a child with disabilities"

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/5/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data