Top Headlines 6/9

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Child Welfare

The U.S. Department of Labor filed a lawsuit yesterday on behalf of Texas child welfare workers, reports L.M. Sixel of San Antonio’s MySA.com. The lawsuit alleges that workers are owed more than $1 million in back pay connected to overtime work, and alleges that workers in the state are forced to work off the clock. Case loads have fallen from 50 to 15 per social worker since 2007, White reports, and the number of children in county care has dropped from 5,000 to 1,500.

Vermont has seen a drop in the number of youths entering care as well (1,400 in 2006, 968 today), and Keith McGilvery of WCAX.com examined why.

Bobby White of the Wall Street Journal takes a look at Alameda County, Calif.’s experience with a federal waiver for its child welfare spending.

Some Catholic Charities sites in Illinois have left the foster care and adoption business since the state permitted civil unions; some have sued for exemption; and some are still deciding, reports Brian Brueggmann of the Belleville News-Democrat.

Education/Jobs

North Carolina’s cuts to community college spending is tantamount to “eating our seed corn,” says an editorial in the Asheville Citizen-Times. The biennial state budget calls for a 10 percent cut to community colleges at the least.

The gainful employment rules put out by the Obama administration are not tough enough for Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), reports Sally Holland of CNN. Harkin held a hearing on the rules shortly after they were released, which Republicans boycotted.

Ralph Moore of Balitmore’s St. Frances Academy Community Center, using the editorial page of the Baltimore Sun, urges Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to make youth summer jobs a priority in 2011.

Juvenile Justice

The Associated Press looks at the debate in Virginia over the state’s juvenile justice board banning discrimination of gay youth in juvenile facilities.

Frank Green of the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports on advocates’ objections to another move by the Virginia juvenile justice board, which would reclassify certain juvenile offenders in the system. The reclassification may jeopardize opportunities offenders earned by behaving well and completing certain tasks, Green reports.

A slate of billboards in Georgia, with space donated by the state, will bring awareness to child prostitution, reports Chandra Thomas of Juvenile Justice Information Exchange.

A major player in the Luzerne County juvenile court scandal, who became a key government witness against even bigger players, received two years probation, reports Dave Janoski of the Citizens Voice.

Miscellaneous

Hillsborough County, Fla., may go without publicly funded after-school programs next year, reports Lenora Lake of Tampa Bay Online.  The county’s parks and recreation department usually has about 1,700 in after-school programs each year.