Top Headlines 5/24

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Child Welfare

Treehouse Foundation CEO Judy Cockerton writes in the Huffington Post that the field needs to make better use of citizens who want to volunteer their help with system-involved youth, but who cannot be adoptive or foster care parents.

Florida will lay off 500 workers from the Department of Children and Families, report John Kennedy and Ana Valdes of the Palm Beach Post. The agency faces an overall budget reduction of $48 million in the 2011-2012 budget. 

Education/Jobs

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled 3-2 today that the state has not contributed ehough funding for some of the state's poorest school districts and ordered distribution of $500 million to some of the poorest school districts, including Newark, Camdem and Paterson.

The California School Employees Association is challenging the Twin Rivers school district on its use of AmeriCorps volunteers as tutors and after-school assistants, reports Melody Gutierrez of the Sacramento Bee.

A USA Today editorial draws a comparison between the mortgage debacle three years ago and the potential for rising student loan default rates. The amount of money is lower, says the editorial, “but the foolishness is the same, inviting another rude shock to a federal budget already in distress.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), potential vice presidential candidate and Tea Party leader has hardened his position against the DREAM Act, which Politico speculates “could drive away the very Hispanic voters Republicans need to win the White House in 2012.”

Juvenile Justice

The number of juveniles incarcerated in Kentucky declined from 11,299 in 2007 to 8,883 in 2009, reports the Associated Press. Much of the decline seems to stem from a lower reliance on detention for status offenders.

The Montana Supreme Court decided that a teen who assaulted a 4-year-old girl will have to register as a sex offender with the state, reports Gwen Florio of The Missoulian. The Office of Public Defender had appealed the requirement based on the fact that the teen had been repeatedly abused by an uncle and half-brother.