Monday, April 18, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Southeaast Missourian, Missouri – April 15, 2011
High school dropouts are costing Missouri hundreds of millions of dollars in lost earnings and spending every year, according to a new study.  "Education and the Economy," released by the not-for-profit Alliance for Excellent Education, a national policy and advocacy organization, tracks the economic potential of bolstering graduation rates.  An estimated 20,000 students dropped out of Missouri's class of 2010, according to the report. The lost lifetime earnings in Missouri for that class of dropouts alone totals nearly $5.2 billion, based on figures from a previous study the organization conducted., Frankfort, KY – April 13, 2011
Starting this fall, Kentucky's public schools will be judged not only by their test scores, but also on how much progress they make and whether they're closing learning gaps among disadvantaged students, the state board of education decided Wednesday.  It's the first phase of a new accountability system that will replace the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System, or CATS, which was dismantled as part of Senate Bill 1, a wide-ranging education reform bill passed by the Kentucky legislature in March 2009.

School Dropouts Help Build Homes, Omaha, NE – April 14, 2011
A low-income Omaha family received the keys to a new home Thursday morning thanks to the work of Habitat For Humanity and Goodwill Industries. The five-bedroom, two-bathroom house at 22nd and Fowler took six months to build. While the homeowner had to put in a lot of time in working on the residence, students from a Goodwill program called YouthBuild Omaha provided most of the labor. It gives high school dropouts ages 16-24 a chance to get a GED and get real life, work experience.

Juvenile Justice

Standard Speaker, Harrisburg, PA – April 12, 2011
After hearing a Wilkes-Barre mother’s impassioned plea for justice, a Senate committee this morning approved the most sweeping package of bills to date to address issues raised by the Luzerne County courthouse scandal.  Sandy Fonzo asked that bills to add safeguards to the conduct of juvenile justice cases be approved in the name of her late son, Edward Kenzakoski. She told senators that the improper detention of her son in a juvenile case on orders of former Luzerne County Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. set events in motion that led to his suicide years later.
Philly Burbs, Trenton, NJ – April 15, 2011
Students from the Juvenile Justice Commission participated today in the 12th Annual Science Fair at the New Jersey State Museum.  Students from nine Juvenile Justice Commission's residential day and transitional programs took part in the event.  This year's theme was “The Climate of Weather.” “This is a wonderful educational event that allows the JJC’s students to do something that all of their classmates across the country do every year – participate in a science fair,” said Veleria N. Lawson, executive director of the Juvenile Justice Commission. 

Sunshine State News, Florida – April 14, 2011
Leaders from the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services unveiled a report from the Justice Research Center Wednesday that found the state saved more than $160 million annually.  And the state did it by employing prevention services aimed at helping troubled youth stay out of the state juvenile justice system.

Foster Care

Oregon Live, Salem, OR – April 15, 2011
No one disagrees with the premise: Oregon ought to do all it can to help kids aging out of foster care get a solid start as adults.  But a proposal to waive the cost of tuition and fees for foster youths who want to study at Oregon's state colleges and universities is struggling in the 2011 Legislature because of government's money troubles.  House Bill 3471 has both a Republican and a Democratic sponsor. A team of former foster youths has been to the Capitol to lobby for it. The waiver would cost about $1 million for the 2012-13 academic year, chump change in a $14 billion state budget.

Herald Argus, Michigan City, MI – April 15, 2011
Best-selling author Ashley Rhodes-Courter said it was a CASA volunteer who helped save her from a life of abusive foster homes and neglect, and set her on a path for success.  She spoke Thursday evening to Harmony House/CASA volunteers during a 20th anniversary celebration in their honor at the Blue Chip Casino and Visitors Center.

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