Top Headlines 12/1

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Child Welfare

Connecticut Gov.-elect Dan Malloy has tapped a state supreme court justice to head up the Department of Children and Families. Associate Justice Joette Katz will step down from the court once the legislature confirms her, and the indication is that she and Malloy will not immediately seek to remove the agency from federal court receivership. Gov. Jodi Rell (D) asked the court this year to end the receivership after two decades.

Great example here of one story told two ways. NECN.com reports that advocates and lawmakers in Nebraska are “cautiously optimistic” about the state’s recent efforts at privatizing child welfare. On the same day, the Omaha World-Herald tops Martha Stoddard’s article on the same hearing with the headline, “Lawmakers Balk at HHS Plan.”

Education/Jobs

Yesterday we learned the number of America’s “dropout factories” is on the decline in a new report. But Dante Chinni’s analysis of the results for Patchwork Nation, a PBS program, shows urban, minority communities are not seeing much of this improvement and are still most likely to produce high schools with high graduation rates.

Politics Daily’s Christopher Weber reports on a six-figure DREAM Act ad buy targeted at Republican Senators whose votes are needed if DREAM Act has any chance of passing during the ongoing lame-duck session that will conclude the 111th Congress this month.    

Big news for proponents of the charter school movement in Los Angeles, as the school board approved a system of low interest loans to fund the city’s financially struggling charter schools. The Los Angeles Times’ Howard Blume has more here.

Tuition at public and private universities tend to rise when states increase the amount of need-based financial aid that they will make available to students, according to a paper by University of Missouri Professor Bradley Curs and University of California Professor Luciana Dar.

Page 13 of the study offers a serious indictment to the state-public university process: “The findings would indicate that public institutions may attempt to capture the increased generosity of state financial aid policy by increasing their own net price, thus, minimizing the ability of state financial aid policy to increase access for low-income students.”

Juvenile Justice

A Texas foundation is building a juvenile justice facility for the Dallas County system, reports the Dallas Morning-News’ Kevin Krause. That’s one way to beat a local and state budget crisis.

The county juvenile justice councils in Illinois have formed a state association with some seed money from the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change Initiative, reports CarmiTimes.com. From the article, the association’s structure seems well-suited to what PROMISE Act grantees would need to establish, if Rep. Bobby Scott’s legislation ever sees a presidential signature.