Top Headlines 4/27

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Child Welfare

New Jersey made $51.7 million in payments on 317 different lawsuits stemming from the actions of its child welfare system, reports Susan Livio of NJ.com.

The legislative effort to open up California child welfare proceedings to the public is on hold until next year, reports Karen de Sá of the Mercury News.

Education/Jobs

Three state politicians in Maine – two of them coaches and one of them a teacher – wrote the Bangor Daily News in opposition to a law that would increase the number of hours a youth could work during the school year and lower the minimum wage for youths.

Lots of headlines on for-profit colleges:

From Youth Today: Nancy Lewis reports that the for-profit industry spent $4.5 million on lobbying in 2011, a pace that would more than double expenditures from 2010 ($8.1 million).

The first quarter spending may only be a precursor to an even larger (and more expensive) effort for the rest of the year, reports Chris Kirkham of the Huffington Post.

Steven Burd, a blogger for the New America Foundation, expanded on part of Kirkham’s story: For-profits also ratcheted up the campaign donations, and spent almost twice as much on Democrats as they did on Republicans.

Malcolm Harris of the website N+1 draws comparisons between the path of the housing bubble and the current situation with student loans.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell unveiled a merit pay program to recruit and retain teacher in select schools throughout the state, Kevin Sieff reports for the Washington Post. Eligible schools would have to apply for the program but many school districts are opting not to participate due to the controversial nature of merit pay.

Juvenile Justice

Baltimore threatened more than 400 parents with jail this school year because of their children’s truancy, reports Erica L. Green of the Baltimore Sun.

Iowa has struggled with legislative efforts to come in line with the Supreme Court ban on life without parole sentences for juveniles convicted of non-homicides, reports Lynda Waddington of the Iowa Independent.

Oregon plans to be cautious about any legislation that would add juveniles to its public sex offender registry, reports Peter Wong of the Statesman Journal.

 

Five years after Fresno opened the doors to a new $141 million juvenile facility, budget problems may force the county to close half of the building, reports Kurtis Alexander of The Fresno Bee.