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Child Welfare

Tracy Overstreet of Nebraska’s The Indepdendent covers a hearing on the state’s effort to privatize child welfare services. The main thrust of the testimony from seven witnesses: the lead agency was ill-prepared, the chain of command is confusing, and foster parents are dropping out.

Education/Jobs

Rural and urban schools are not nearly as different as conventional wisdom makes them out to be, writes RiShawn Biddle, author of Dropout Nation. Plenty of schools in both areas struggle mightily with dropout problems, he writes.

Chris Kirkham of the Huffington Post reports on the racial aspect of the debate over for-profit colleges. Some black leaders laud them for helping young minority men who might otherwise miss college; other black leaders see them as exploiters of the same young men.

It helps to have a rich mayor: New York's Michael Bloomberg will spend $30 million of his own wealth to help young black and Latino men get education and job training, report Michael Barbaro and Fernanda Santos of the New York Times. Fellow billionaire George Soros will match that, and the city itself will spend another $70 million.

Juvenile Justice

Stephen Baxter of the Mercury News reports that a juvenile probation leader in Santa Cruz County, a model site for the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, wants to revisit the criteria for detaining kids after a teen who brandished a knife at someone was released and then allegedly stabbed someone hours later.

Florida’s juvenile justice leader vowed to figure out what went wrong in the case of Eric Perez, a teenager who died recently at a state juvenile detention center, reports Carol Marbin Miller of the Miami Herald.

Two teenagers riding in a probation van with seven other offenders in Tulare County, Calif., died Tuesday after the van collided with a tire service truck, reports Denise Madrid. No news about whether the offenders were wearing seatbelts yet.