Monday, April 15, 2013

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


State's high school graduation rate up, dropout rate down
Los Angeles Times, California – April 9, 2013
State officials Tuesday reported slight improvements in dropout and graduation rates and continued gains made by Latino and African American students.  Overall, the state dropout rate declined by 1.5 percentage points to 13.2% for the class of 2012, when compared to the class of 2011. For Latinos, the improvement was 2.1 percentage points; for African Americans, it was 3.1%.

Man helps Dubuque high school dropouts 'bulldoze' problems away, complete degrees
The Republic, Dubuque, IA – April 15, 2013
Tom Kershner jokes that his office is a beat-up white Jeep.  Portability is key for the man who has the "doglike task" of finding Dubuque's dropouts, ages 16 to 21, and convincing them to enter alternative and/or post-secondary education.

Arlington School Targets High School Dropouts
NBC 5, Arlington, TX – April 8, 2013
The Arlington school district aims to graduate 100 percent of its students.  A new Arlington Independent School District school targets students who have already dropped out or are on the verge of it and helps them get their diplomas.

Juvenile Justice

Juvenile justice reforms approved
The Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach County, FL – April 12, 2013
Sparked by a Palm Beach County jail death, the Florida House unanimously passed a bill protecting teens from abuse by staff in lock-ups run by the Department of Juvenile Justice – but for many advocates, the Legislature should be putting more protections in place.  The Dream Defenders, a youth group focused on juvenile justice issues, called this week for protection from arrests at school for minor incidents.

Nebraska lawmakers studying New Jersey's juvenile detention program
Press of Atlantic City, New Jersey – April 11, 2013
New Jersey’s successful juvenile detention program is being studied by a delegation from Nebraska this week.  Legislators, court representatives, probation and juvenile detention workers, along with law enforcement and community organizations are attending a two-day working session focusing on statewide implementation of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative.

Foster Care

Legislature focuses on foster care age out children
KVNO News, Lincoln, NE – April 9, 2013
When young people age out of the foster care system at age 19, unless they’re going to college full time, they’re generally on their own. And considering they’ve come from backgrounds where the state has removed them from their own families’ homes because of problems there, that can set them up for trouble.  Lincoln Sen. Amanda McGill wants to address that.

Bill Extending Age For Foster Care Kids Clears Another Committee
WSFU, Florida – April 10, 2013
Florida lawmakers are hoping to make kids who age out of the foster care system self-sufficient when they go out on their own. A bill that aims to do just that passed with bipartisan support Wednesday in a House budget panel.

Foster-care initiative to ease shift to life on own
The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio – April 11, 2013
A new partnership between the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and Big Brothers Big Sisters is bringing together caseworkers, employment counselors and mentors to help teens and young adults who are moving from foster care to independent living.

Teen Pregnancy

Skelton bill focuses on teen pregnancy prevention
Independent Mail, Anderson, South Carolina – April 13, 2013
State Rep. B.R. Skelton is sponsoring a House bill that would hold local school boards accountable for educating high school students about pregnancy prevention. The change would be the first major update in South Carolina’s Comprehensive Health Education Act in 25 years.

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