Top Headlines 3/24

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Child Welfare

Blame for Barahonas is before, not after is the title of an opinion piece in the Orlando Sun-Sentinel that ascribes the problems that led to the death of young Nubia Barahona and the severe injuries to her twin brother to welfare workers and state school officials who didn’t monitor the children after they were withdrawn from public school.  .  

Connecticut’s new commissioner of the Department of Children and Families Josie Katz pledges to limit placement of children in group homes. Jacqueline Rabb of the Connecticut Mirror reports the state now has at least 25 children under the age of 6 living in “congregate care” where they often are stuck for long periods before being moved in with a foster family.

The Oregon legislature is considering legislation that would waive tuition at state colleges and universities for students who have been in the state’s foster care system. KVAL.com reports one legislator said the foster children are “Oregon’s kids” and parents are expected to pay for their children’s college.

Education

At an education summit in Washington, Vice President Joe Biden unveiled a new Department of Education grant program aimed at decreasing the number of high school dropouts and increasing the number of graduates.  The Washington Post’s Stacy Anderson reports.

Will Carson and Liam Dillon of voiceofSanDiego.org profile Bridgepoint Education, which is at the center of the for-profit college controversy.

Juvenile Justice

The problems facing California counties as the state moves to shut down its juvenile prisons is detailed in a special report in the California Report. The report focuses on Santa Cruz County, which has dramatically reduced the number of juveniles it sends to state facilities, but officials there say there are some delinquents the county can’t handle.

Meantime, California Watch  reports that the state plans to keep some youth correctional facilities open.

Miscellaneous

Bills are advancing in both houses of the Florida legislature that  would require welfare applicants to take and pay for drug tests. William March of The Tampa Tribune reports the bill is in line with Gov. Rick Scott’s declaration that he would begin requiring drug testing for all job applicants at department’s under his control.  Democrats and some Republicans oppose the welfare applicant bill.