Monday, September 30, 2013

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


'American Graduate Day' Addresses Dropout Issue
ABC News, Los Angeles, CA – September 28, 2013
The nation's school dropout problem is the subject of a day of public TV programming.  Actors including Patrick Stewart and Brian Stokes Mitchell, Olympic medalist Shannon Miller and other celebrities and journalists will take part in "American Graduate Day 2013."

Harrisburg one of four Pa. school districts in dropout prevention pilot
Penn Live, Harrisburg, PA – September 26, 2013
The capital city’s public school district is one of four in Pennsylvania picked to test a data-driven dropout prevention program, state officials announced Wednesday. Harrisburg stands to benefit greatly, given the cash-strapped district graduates just about half of its students.

Childhood health linked to high school completion
Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO – Septemebr 25, 2013
Each year in the St. Louis region, thousands of African American students drop out of high school. According to a newly released policy brief — “How does health influence school dropout?”— health and education are closely related, and there are patterns related to health that increase the risk of high school dropout.

Juvenile Justice

Hall aims to help repeat offenders with juvenile justice reforms
Gainesville Times, Hall County, GA – September 29, 2013
As the first deadline rapidly approaches, Hall County is gearing up for sweeping juvenile justice reforms that take effect Jan. 1.  Hall County Juvenile Judge Cliff Jolliff wrote a grant proposal for a counseling program that, after getting funding in July, and months of preparation, will start taking referrals on Tuesday.

Commonwealth Looking at Juvenile Justice Reform
WTVQ, Commonwealth, KY – September 25, 2013
State lawmakers say they want to lower the number of juveniles that the State locks up every year.  State Senator Whitney Westerfield says many of the state's juvenile inmates are in for committing offenses that are not even crimes for adults, offenses like skipping school or running away from home.

Bar Association sees hope in reform of juvenile justice system
McCook Daily, McCook, NE – September 26, 2013
Nebraska State Bar Association officials said they support changest to the state's juvenile justice system created by LB 561, passed in May. "The legislation changes the focus of our juvenile system, away from punishment and towards diversion programs," said Marsha Fangmeyer, president of the NSBA executive council, during a visit to McCook on Tuesday.

Foster Care

Fixing WA foster care, one bill at a time
Crosscut, Washington – September 30, 2013
Six foster care-related bills went into the Washington State Legislature's hopper last session. Three passed. Two were set aside because they were duplicative. The sixth stalled, but has a chance at passing in 2014. "We're making progress,” says Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-Seattle, a longtime advocate for at-risk kids. “But we still have a long way to go."

Pritzker Family Foundation supports foster youth at UCLA with $3 million gift
UCLA Newsroom, Los Angeles, CA – September 26, 2013
The charitable foundation of Los Angeles philanthropists Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker has donated $3 million to UCLA to establish an endowment to support students who are or were in foster care.

Teen Pregnancy

State Health Department Spends $1.2 Million on Abstinence-Only Project
Observer, Texas – September 25, 2013
In September the Texas Department of State Health Services launched a new website,, that will cost $1.2 million over the next year. The agency blitzed the radio and TV with ads for the site, claiming that it will help local communities reduce teen pregnancies. Although the site offers reminders why adolescent pregnancy is to be avoided—girls don’t finish school, babies have worse health outcomes, taxpayers foot the bill—it seems primarily to be a home for buzzwords like “community mobilization,” “strategic action” and “conceptual framework.”

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