Top Headlines 12/16

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Child Welfare

Beth Musgrave of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports the Kentucky is changing the way it conducts child fatality investigations.

The Child Welfare League of America announced that it would survey frontline child welfare workers so the organization could represent their collective voice in what CWLA sees as a looming debate over federal child welfare finance reform.

Two different stories about kids being duck-taped: Salt Lake Tribune’s Dan Weist reports on a teacher who was cleared of abuse charges for taping a third-grader to a desk, and Chicago ABC affiliate WLS reports on an investigation of a religious school where a 4-year-old allegedly had his hands taped together during naptime.

Los Angeles County’s ousted child welfare director, Trisha Ploehn, will retain her county salary of $260,000 and work on education initiatives for Chief Executive William Fujioka.

Laurel Sweet of the Boston Herald reports on findings that 15 children have been turned over to the state since Massachusetts passed a Safe Haven law in 2005.

Education/Jobs

Advocates in New York are testifying before the City Council today in support of the School Safety Act, which would require the city to regularly release numbers on school arrests and on suspensions by race. The Daily News’ Meredith Kolodner reports that in support of today’s City Council hearing, the New York Civil Liberties Union released data showing school safety agents made 1,124 arrests last school year and 286 arrests in the first two months of this academic year.

With news pouring in about increased enrollment at the nation’s community colleges since the recession, one state is already reporting an increase in community college student transfers to four-year schools. An AP blurb mentions the number of transfer students from Connecticut’s 12 community colleges to its four-school state university system has increased by 43 percent since 2005. 

Count the state of Kentucky as the latest government body to hop on the for-profit colleges investigation bandwagon. Megha Mandavia of Reuters reports on an announcement from the Kentucky Attorney General’s office that the business practices at six for-profit colleges are under investigation.  

An Economist blog entry maps out rates of youth and adult unemployment across the globe, showing the U.S. falls in the middle of the pack, but more significantly that youth unemployment rates are a world-wide crisis, reaching as high as 42 percent in Spain.

The School District of Philadelphia has reached an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to prevent bullying, stemming from an incident last year in which more than two dozen Asian American students were targeted and attacked at a South Philadelphia high school. As the Washington Post’s Krissah Thompson reports, the agreement could be used as a national benchmark for school districts to prevent student bullying.

Juvenile Justice    

Henri Cauvin of the Washington Post reports that Robert Hildum, who took over the oft-discussed reform of D.C.’s juvenile justice system, is stepping down. There will be a lot of eyes on Mayor-elect Vince Gray when it comes to juvenile justice: who he will choose to lead the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, and whether he will opt to add more secure beds.

Florida news station WCTV’s Candace Sweat reported that yet another Florida nonprofit is under fire for treatment of juveniles at a facility it operates.  Monticello New Life failed its standard evaluation and saw a rise in wards contacting the abuse registry, and now will have to hand over the keys.

Sheena Delazio of the Times Leader in Pennsylvania reports on the task force trying to turn juvenile justice around in the county that saw the biggest juvenile court scandal in history. Also in this article, there is news of a $500,000 victim’s compensation fund to pay the victims of juveniles whose records were expunged due to the Luzerne County fiasco.

Miscellaenous

Mary Beth Marklein of USA Today reports on a Government Accountability Office report that analyzed how sex offenders are able to get jobs at schools. The answer, in many cases, was that administrators missed easy red flags. Marklein’s story is accompanied by an excellent map graphic that outlines each state’s regulatory process on sex offenders and schools.