Monday, April 01, 2013

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


House Approves New Approach to High School Graduation
The Texas Tribune, Texas – March 26, 2013
The challenge of finding balance between rigor and flexibility in graduation requirements dominated Tuesday’s debate over legislation that would significantly change the courses students need for a high school diploma. The measure tentatively passed the Texas House.

Reducing number of high school diplomas proposed
The Advocate, Louisiana – March 26, 2013
Reopening a volatile topic, state Superintendent of Education John White said he wants to consider eliminating one of Louisiana’s three high school diplomas.  The move is driven in part by a new push to aid students who want to pursue a career after high school rather than seeking a four-year college degree.

Stay in School initiative promotes daily attendance in Springfield public schools
The Republican, Massachusetts – March 25, 2013
A new community initiative launched by the Springfield Public Schools encourages students to go to school everyday and earn a high school diploma.  The program was launched on Monday at the newly constructed Putnam Vocational Technical Academy.

Juvenile Justice

Juvenile justice overhaul adopted
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia – March 25, 2013
Major changes are coming to how the state treats juveniles who get in trouble with the law under legislation that received final passage Monday.  House Bill 242 is now on its way to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk. The governor has indicated he supports it.

Rehabilitated life, reformed juvenile system, Luzerne County, PA – March 31, 2013
Adam Fredmund's story is one of rehabilitation and redemption and not just his own.  Anyone wondering whether Luzerne County's juvenile justice system has recovered from the dishonest and dysfunctional days of the kids-for-cash scandal can take heart from Fredmund's journey through that system.

Report suggest changes for juvenile justice health services
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia – March 25, 2013
A recent review of medical services provided to youths by the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice found care adequate but makes numerous recommendations.

Foster Care

New program to provide jobs for foster-care youths in Orlando
Orlando Sentinel, Florida – March 26, 2013
For scores of Central Florida foster teens who turn 18 each year, aging out of the state's custody means no place to live, no job, no drivers license and no transportation.  That's why local nonprofit agencies are teaming with foster-care officials to get them the internships and job-mentoring programs that are typically a rite of passage for other kids.

Foster care bill would give kids more freedom
The Miami Herald, Tallahassee, FL – March 27, 2013
Martin Gordon, 19, came to the Capitol to tell legislators his experiences in the foster care system hoping that his voice — and the voices of 26 other current and former foster care children — would make a difference. On Wednesday, they got their answer.  The Florida Senate passed a bill 38-0 eliminating many of the restrictions that keep foster children from participating in normal activities, like a field trip, sleepover, sporting event, vacation or even a trip to the beach.

Missouri senators pass bill to let kids rejoin foster care
KCTV, Kansas City, MO – March 26, 2013
When children leave the nest, they usually have a safety net to fall back on - mom and dad.  But for those in Missouri's foster system, they often have no one.  A proposed Senate bill would allow children who chose to leave the foster care system at 18 to return and stay until they're 21.

Teen Pregnancy

Official says sustained prevention effort needed to impact teen pregnancy rates
The Times and Democrat, Bamberg County, SC – March 26, 2013
While Bamberg County follows the statewide trend of a declining teen birth rate from 2010 to 2011, the fact remains that South Carolina has the 11th-highest teen birth rate in the nation.  Orangeburg and Calhoun counties have actually seen a teen birth rate increase over the same time period.  Officials says there’s much work to do to tackle this problem.  “We see Bamberg County trending in the right direction.”

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