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Child Welfare

A new bill introduced in the Florida State Legislature would eliminate four state agencies and combine them into one entity. As reported by the Florida Times-Union’s Matt Dixon, the agencies, which employ 40,000 state workers, are the Department of Health, Department of Children and Family Services, Agency for Persons with Disabilities and Agency for Health Care Administration.

An appeals court in New Jersey ruled that a man whose son died in a bathtub accident was wrongly stripped of his custody of his other child. By Lisa Coryell in the Times of Trenton.

Marcia Robinson Lowry, executive director of Children’s Rights, writes a Washington Post opinion column urging the D.C. Council to factor in foster children when making budget cuts, and disputes a recent Post column by Richard Wexler that suggested payments to foster parents could be trimmed.

The rising number of Central Floridians using food stamps is examined by the Orlando Sentinel’s Kate Santich.

Education/Jobs

The Chicago Tribune’s Becky Yerak has learned that a coalition of for-profit colleges filed a lawsuit against the Department of Education for refusing to give access to documents that allege deceptive practices by some for-profits. 

Iowa community colleges cannot quite keep up with their growth in demand, as many laid off workers looking to go back to school are forced to wait more than a year to begin taking classes, the Des Moines Register’s Jens Manuel Krogstad and Adam Belz report.

The AP reports that former DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee will announce today a formal agenda for her new education policy group Students First.

Juvenile Justice

From the Prince George’s (Maryland) Gazette’s Zoe Tillman, the teenager charged with rape and murder of a Cheltenham Youth Facility teacher has a history of violence and emotional disturbance, a Prince George’s County court has learned. 

A PBS special on anti-psychotic medications prescribed to foster children is summarized in this Oklahoma City Examiner piece by Joyce Owens-Smith.

An AP story looks into the validity of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s condemning statements on state juvenile prisons.