Top Headlines 12/22

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Child Welfare

Los Angeles County wasted $514,000 on unused cell phone devices and personal calls, according to an audit released yesterday and reported on by the Los Angeles Times’ Garrett Therolf.

Education/Jobs

After the announcement that the first initiative of Newark, N.J.'s school reform efforts funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg would be to get community input, the Wall Street Journal’s Barbara Martinez quantifies this campaign with the following figures: “50,000 doors knocked on, 20,000 questionnaires complete and thousands of calls made.”

Kristina Hacker of the Turlock Journal (California) writes that a mostly negative review of the California education system – from the nonprofit Children Now – points out that California is a national leader in state-funded after-school programs.

The Detroit News includes a column from Iris Salters, president of the Michigan Education Association, who writes that the fight to improve high school dropout rates will be won by fixing the economy and improving the students’ home lives, not through drastic teacher reforms.

The Denver Post’s Greg Griffin reports on the high youth unemployment rate and how retail jobs normally occupied by teens during the holiday season are now being taken away by older adults who have been laid off their previous jobs.

Juvenile Justice

Advisers to Florida Gov.-elect Rick Scott (R) suggested some qualified candidates to lead juvenile justice in his administration, reports The News Service of Florida’s John Kennedy, and told Scott to make the new director hire a person whose job would be to coordinate the various juvenile service options.

Elizabeth Dinan of SeacoastOnline.com reports on how cuts to court staff and time are gumming up the works for New Hampshire when it comes to handling juvenile justice cases in a timely fashion.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention released a lengthy bulletin on what went right with its four pilot projects to curb gang activity in Miami, Los Angeles, Richmond, Va., and Milwaukee.