Schools/Child Welfare

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Schools redirecting money intended for reforms, officials say

A public high school in Bridgeport

A considerable amount of the $132.9 million the state provided the lowest-performing districts to pay for improvements like extending the school day or offering free preschool was  "inappropriately" used last year to close budget deficits districts were facing, state education leaders said Wednesday. Continue Reading →

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Defining education — Does it include preschool?

A preschool classroom in Bridgeport

There's agreement that too few children in Connecticut have access to quality preschool programs, but top state officials are butting heads with a coalition of parents and educators on how to put a near-universal system in place. Attorney General George Jepsen argues that whether the state pays for universal preschool is an issue that should remain with lawmakers. His office is defending the State Department of Education and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in a school-funding lawsuit brought by a coalition of parents, school boards, municipal leaders and teachers' unions. The coalition worries that lawmakers will continue to look at the budgets for early education programs as places to find money when times are tight. A Jan. Continue Reading →

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Youth service officers: We are not abusing kids in jail

Staff from CJTS speak out against reports on conditions inside the state-run jails

A state investigation that uncovered improper use of restraint and seclusion at Connecticut's juvenile correction facilities left out one important element, front line staff members say: their voices. "We cannot and will not be portrayed as the enemy or the abuser of the young people we are dedicated to helping and healing," says Suzanne Borner, a teacher at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School for boys in Middletown. "We ask you to remember that every story has another side, and a whole lot more context. Please hear ours," said George Register, a youth service officer of eight years. For example, consider  the story of Jennie. Continue Reading →

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Congress shuts loan program that helps thousands of CT students

college grads

WASHINGTON – Congress may have averted a government shutdown, but failed to prevent the demise of the nation’s oldest student aid program, known as the Perkins loan. Thousands of Connecticut students use this program to help finance their education. Continue Reading →

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The state of Connecticut juvenile incarceration in 17 charts

A unit inside the Connecticut Juvenile Training School

Each year about 3,000 children enter Connecticut's juvenile justice system after being convicted of breaking the law. Here, in graphical form, is a historical overview of what happens to youth after they are found guilty, including details on the jails where about 200 youths each year are sent to live. Continue Reading →

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7 hours of video released from inside CJTS and Pueblo Unit

DCF CJTS video screen shot

Under fire for what has been called improper restraint and seclusion of youths at state-run juvenile correctional facilities, the Department of Children and Families has released nearly seven hours of surveillance video in an effort to provide the public a more complete picture of its operations. Continue Reading →

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Report: CT has made progress on child trauma, but gaps persist

This is a picture of Jason Lang

Connecticut has made dramatic advances in providing help for children exposed to trauma, in some cases, emerging as a national leader in addressing a problem that research has linked to significant mental and physical health consequences. But more work is needed, according to a report released Tuesday. Continue Reading →

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Legislators press DCF: Do your juvenile jails work?

Jennie being restrained last year at the locked jail for girls

Fourteen months have passed since Jennie was violently taken down from behind as she walked from one end of the state-run jail for girls to the other. On Thursday, concerned lawmakers on the legislative panel that oversees juvenile justice wanted to know: Where is Jennie now, and how is she doing? And do the jails, which house juveniles convicted of a crime, improve their behavior after they leave? Continue Reading →

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