Top Headlines 6/2

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Child Welfare

Craig Malisow of the Houston Press takes an in-depth look at the federal class-action lawsuit filed against the child welfare system in Texas. The lawsuit, and the story, focus on the Permanent Managing Conservatorship, the division of Texas Child Protective Services that handles the cases of some 12,000 youth with little hope of finding a permanent home by age 18.

In a guest column for the Rockford Register Star, Ben Wolf of the ACLU of Illinois takes a local Catholic Charities to task for ceasing its adoption and foster care programs in connection with the state’s new civil unions law.

Education/Jobs

Talib Karim, a lawyer and Washington resident writing in a column for the Washington Informer, believes that D.C. is headed for a summer of youth violence unless the private sector steps up and offers some job opportunities.

Are schoolchildren being recruited to push for unions? Karen Bouffard of the Detroit News reports on a letter-writing campaign that has swamped Michigan legislators with notes from schoolchildren about laying off teachers. Republicans told Bouffard they believe the campaign is organized by Michigan Education Association, the largest teachers union in the state; MEA denies the charge.

Juvenile Justice

Lots of news about facility closures today:

An official with Washington’s State Department of Social and Health Services told King 5 News that closure of the Maple Lane School will be a “challenge” to the juvenile justice system. The department relied on the school to serve less violent offenders and those in need of mental health services, who will now either be incarcerated with other juveniles or directed to alternative placements.

This article by Stephanie Coueignoux of Central Florida News13 suggests that some of the detention centers being closed by the state could remain open if the counties they reside in choose to fund them without state money.

Two children’s advocacy groups filed a federal lawsuit yesterday accusing a Mississippi facility of tormenting and isolating young offenders, reports NECN.com.