Monday, February 11, 2013

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Missoula public high schools tops in state for graduation rate
Missoulian, Missoula, MT – February 9, 2013
Missoula County Public Schools are tops in Montana, according to a district analysis released Friday of data from the Montana Office of Public Instruction.  “I am so proud of the work that our high school staff, as well as our students, parents and community members, are doing to support students and families throughout their high school experience,” Superintendent Alex Apostle said in a prepared statement.

New Vistas offers fresh horizons for dropouts
Post-Tribune, Portage, IN – February 10, 2013
Victoria Lachowicz says she never fit in at her old high school. And she admits to being a slacker when it came to studies.  Destiny Cooper felt her old school had too much drama and fighting.  Alexander Salgado didn’t know what success felt like at his former school.  Now, Lachowicz, Cooper and Salgado say they look forward to school, a concept most of the student body at New Vistas Charter School never experienced at their old schools.

Debate on dropout age continues in 2013 session
CBS 9, Bowling Green, KY – February 10, 2013
Taylor Blair had a baby girl at age 15. On her 16th birthday, she called her high school and said she wasn't coming back.  "I'd only been to school maybe two weeks out of a semester," Blair said. "I didn't want to be the dumb kid in class and not know anything."  Kentucky education experts say 6,000 to 7,000 students a year drop out of high school in the state, where it's been legal since 1920 to do so at age 16 with parental permission.  First lady Jane Beshear has for several years been pushing lawmakers to raise the age to 18, as it is in 15 other states.

Juvenile Justice

Collaboration in Action: Robert Listenbee and George Mosee
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange – February 11, 2013
The field of juvenile justice is abuzz with the recent news of President Barack Obama appointing Robert Listenbee to be the next administrator of the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Push begins to reform juvenile justice system
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia – February 7, 2013
The chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court called for extensive reform to the juvenile justice system, an exhortation that served as a prelude Thursday to the introduction of sweeping legislation meant to improve the state’s treatment of its youngest offenders.

Lawmakers Push for Juvenile Justice Reforms
WMFE 90.7 News, Florida – February 8, 2013
A group of Florida lawmakers says a measure passed in 2011 to let counties operate their own juvenile justice centers isn't working. The legislators say the facilities need more oversight from the State Department of Juvenile Justice.  The 2011 law was intended to help counties work more efficiently by letting them create their own standards for operating their juvenile justice centers. A number of counties have done so, and in some places it’s worked out, but David Utter, with the Southern Poverty Law Center says in other places, such as Polk County, that’s not the case.

Foster Care

State looks to extend foster care coverage to 21
King 5 News, Washington – February 8, 2013
State lawmakers are considering two bills that would extend Washington’s foster care coverage from 18-years-old to 21-years-old.  House Bill 1302 and Senate Bill 5405 are supported by several lawmakers, but Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services is concerned about possible costs to the state.

Committee OKs bill seeking foster-care tuition waiver
The Republic, Arizona – February 8, 2013
They were a powerful group. Well-spoken, well-dressed, with compelling arguments that were hard to ignore.  As they stepped to the podium Thursday to address the Senate Education Committee, these young foster-care alumni got results even the slickest Capitol lobbyists would envy.  Following their testimony about the struggles, and the expense, of going from foster-care group homes to college, the Senate panel unanimously approved a bill to waive tuition to the state’s three universities for Arizona foster kids.

Teen Pregnancy

With sex ed, contraception–and Plan B–NYC teen pregnancy rate drops
MSNBC, New York, NY – February 5, 2013
The teen pregnancy rate among New York City’s public high school students dropped 27% over a decade, new city data shows. Among 1,000 girls aged 15 to 19, 73 became pregnant in 2010. That’s down from 99 of 1,000 girls who became pregnant in 2001.

Teen Pregnancy: Providing Help for a Brighter Future
WSAZ Channel 3, Ona, WV – February 7, 2013
A new report says one in eight West Virginia babies is born to a teenage mother  and one in three teenage girls say pregnancy is their reason for dropping out of high school.  Those are the statistics, but for a Cabell Midland High School senior that is a different story.  Elizabeth Lawhon was only a ninth grader when she had her child Kalie. This year, Lawhon will be graduating high school.  She says it’s all due to the support she receives from the school’s very own daycare, Cabell Midland Early Head Start founded by the Southwestern Community Action.

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