Top Headlines for 1/5

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Child Welfare

A major contractor for the Florida Department of Children and Families has been replaced after a spate of deaths of children in its care, reports Donna Koehn of Tampa Bay Online. A Hillsborough County committee voted unanimously to award the $65.5 million annual contract - held by Hillsborough Kids Inc. for 10 years - to Eckerd Youth Alternatives.

Meanwhile, reports Kavontae Smalls of WJHG.com, Florida DCF is changing its strategy for recruiting foster families.

Jeffrey Anderson of the Washington Times reports on a woman who claims she was barred from D.C. Public Schools because she alerted a school principal to inappropriate touching between two children.

The case of the obese Cleveland youth who was taken into foster care has had far reaching effects, reports Irene Maher of the Tampa Bay Times. Maher cites one case in which an obese child refuses to visit the doctor for fear he will contact child protective services.

Education/Jobs

John Schmid of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on President Barack Obama’s upcoming announcement of a summer job program, which involves the recruitment of 250,000 committed jobs for teens. Federal agencies have already committed 20,000 jobs, and the total number of commitments now stands at 180,000.

Neil Munro, columnist for the Daily Caller, takes a sour view of the initiative: President Barack Obama hasn’t reduced youth unemployment, so his officials are now pressuring companies to let him announce a wave of new summer jobs and internships.

In Oregon, reports Nicole Dungca of The Oregonian, two Clackamas County school districts have opened district-led charter schools, having discovered the Oregon charter school law can provide extra funds and flexibility for their own programs.

Shakema Silveri, a Georgia teacher and founder of the yet-to-open Silveri Service Learning Academy, explains In a New York Times piece how distance learning can be a huge asset to the regular classroom.

Juvenile Justice

Mississippi House Juvenile Justice Committee Chair Earle Banks (D) does not expect to lead the committee under a Republican majority next year, but does plan to push a number of reforms in the House, reports Valerie Wells of the Jackson Free Press. One part of his agenda will be preventing youths from entering juvenile detention because of frustrated parents.