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Child Welfare

The Massachusetts child welfare system has absorbed $100 million in cuts over the past four years, reports the Boston Herald’s Matt Murphy, and advocates are saying that many of the cuts have been made to the kind of services that keep a family from being formally involved in child welfare.


Liz Goodwin of the news blog The Lookout reports on possible reasons for the Education Department’s delay in releasing its final gainful employment rule affecting for-profit colleges.

A Government Accountability Office report released yesterday shows federally funded job training programs can be a waste of money and do a poor job tracking their effectiveness. By the USA Today’s Gregory Korte.

A group that unsuccessfully applied last year to start a Queens charter school to serve English language learners is applying again this year, with the hopes of meeting the state’s regulations this time. Reported by Clare Trapasso in the New York Daily News.

Former First Lady Laura Bush announced a new education initiative seeking to improve high school graduation rates by focusing on middle school students, according to the AP’s Jamie Stengle.

Catherine Jun of the Detroit News reports on potential changes to Michigan's food stamp program that would cut off assistance to about 20,000 of the 25,000 college students currently on food stamps.

Juvenile Justice

The trial of Mark Ciavarella, the Luzerne County juvenile judge who allegedly helped steer the creation of for-profit juvenile detention centers and then filled them with youths, began on Monday. It appears that local paper The Times Leader will be updating this page throughout the trial with updates about testimony in the trial.

Former New Orleans juvenile judge David Bell, who abruptly stepped down from the bench last year, is being sued for sexual harassment, reports Natasha Robin of The court’s assistant fiscal manager, Tammy Griffith, alleges that Bell harassed her and that she was fired from her job for no reason. Bell was actively involved with Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, speaking at a number of the annual conferences for the initiative.


New York Times’ Pam Belluck reports on a major victory in infant health: a study that shows fetal surgery is highly successful in safely improving the function of babies born with spina bifida. The study furthers hope that fetal surgery can be relied upon outside of situations where babies are likely to die without it.

Elsewhere in the Times, Jan Rosen reports on the potential for two big years for charitable giving that the tax cut deal created.