Monday, March 19, 2012

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


SC improves its high school dropout rates
Post Crescent, Columbia, SC - March 18, 2012
A report by a national think tank has found South Carolina's high school graduation rates have sharply increased since 2002.

Proposal would raise state school dropout age to 18
The Herald News, Fall River, MA – March 11, 2012
Area legislators and school officials support the idea of raising the minimum school dropout age from 16 to 18, but there are concerns with how the plan would be funded and implemented.

Nashville school district sees decline in dropout rate
The Tennessean, Nashville, TN – March 18, 2012
The message is scribbled in black marker on a dry erase board in a Metro Nashville school, written by a student more than two years ago and never erased.  “I will always be back to visit you, to show you where my life has gone, because without you I would still be a high school dropout.”

Juvenile Justice

At D.C. Superior Court program, a focus on helping minors with mental health problems
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. – March 15, 2012
JM-4 in D.C. Superior Court isn’t your typical courtroom.  No one is on trial. Defendants, called “respondents,” are surrounded by social workers, psychologists and, often, family members. There’s no mention of the criminal charges against them.

Study praises juvenile justice reforms, says more work needed
Arkansas News, Little Rock, AK – March 14, 2012
A new study presented to lawmakers today praises recent reforms in Arkansas’ juvenile justice system and recommends additional strategies to save money.  “There really has been remarkable work done to reform juvenile justice in this state,” said Pat Arthur, the study’s co-author, a California-based consultant and former attorney at the National Center for Youth Law in San Francisco.

School-To-Prison Pipeline Targeted By Judges, Education Officials
The Huffington Post, St. Louis, MO – March 13, 2012
Jakayla Ivory, a St. Louis high-school student convicted of second-degree assault, likely would have gotten two years in jail. Instead, she went to school at Jimmie Edwards' Innovative Concept Academy.

Foster Care

House in planning stages
Stuttgart Daily Leader, Stuttgart, AK – March 16, 2012
About 25 percent of foster children end up in a jail system within two years of aging out of foster care.  Dana’s House Director Jennifer Poston said about 40 percent end up homeless at some point.  It’s statistics Poston said they hope to beat locally through a future transition house for those about to age out of foster care at age 18

Transitioning Youth Act Is Renewed By Legislature
The Chattanoogan, Tennessee – March 18, 2012
Tennessee lawmakers today passed legislation that legislators said will continue a program that has helped many foster children transition into adulthood. Rep. Mark White (R-Memphis) introduced the bill that will continue the Transitioning Youth Act - a program that provides assistance to foster children between the ages of 18-21 once they age out of the foster care system.

Senate committee approves bill requiring information for foster children
Lexington Herald-Leader, Kentucky – March 14, 2012
Chelsea Hoover told state lawmakers on Wednesday that when her years of being a Kentucky foster child ended, social workers did not give her enough information about programs that could ease her transition into adulthood.

Teen Pregnancy

Governor's task force tackles teen pregnancy, Jackson, MS – March 15, 2012
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has formed a task force to reduce the number of teen pregnancies and births in the state.  "Obviously what we're doing has not been working," Bryant said Wednesday in announcing the task force.

More emphasis needed on preventing teen pregnancies, officials say
The Gainsville Sun, Florida – March 13, 2012
In a small building on campus at the Professional Academies Magnet at Loften, Pauline Grimes and four other helpers take care of the school district's youngest students: the infants and toddlers of teen students.  There are 25 teen moms on campus as part of the ACCEPT program, which allows these moms to remain enrolled in school by providing parenting education and free on-site childcare.

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