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Opinion | 12 Americans Die of an Overdose Every Hour. We Have the Knowledge to Prevent That.

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“Our invoice makes clear that any financial savings the merger generates can be reinvested into the system,” Senator Harckham says. “However the unions, particularly, have been battle-scarred, and it’s exhausting accountable them.” Governor Cuomo downsized the Workplace of Habit Companies and Helps, or OASAS, by some 150 positions throughout his tenure. Gov. Kathy Hochul has taken steps to reverse that harm — allocating some $402 million in new funding to the company and appointing a brand new commissioner to go it. However even this welcome improvement presents a problem to the merger motion. “It’s the primary time in endlessly that OASAS is getting a lift as an alternative of a lower,” Joelle Foskett, the legislative director to Senator Harckham, informed me. “The intuition goes to be to carry on to that, to not threat it in a merger.”

There may be additionally the matter of historical past: OASAS was established in 1992, when alcohol and substance abuse companies have been extracted from a special, bigger company and mixed right into a single new entity. Philip Steck, chair of the Meeting Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse says that the entire level of that reconfiguration was to enhance the state’s dependancy remedy equipment by separating it from every thing else. “Substance abuse was uncared for when it was half of a bigger company,” Steck informed me. “The individuals who now wish to merge dependancy and psychological well being appear to be forgetting that.”

Mr. Steck agrees that the present setup — psychological well being in a single company, dependancy in one other — doesn’t meet the wants of people that endure from each. However he and others say that there are quicker, cheaper methods to repair that than to strive smushing two behemoth businesses collectively. For instance, his personal proposal is to easily “infuse” extra psychological well being companies into the 12 dependancy remedy facilities that OASAS already presided over. This transfer not solely would result in extra built-in remedy for folks with co-occurring problems, he mentioned, but in addition would assist improve the work power, as a result of state services pay greater than the nonprofits. “The concept of a brand new behavioral well being division sounds very progressive,” Mr. Steck mentioned. “And I’m not saying it ought to by no means occur. However to remake the system like that might take 10 years, and we now have folks struggling proper now.”

These are honest considerations, however to Mrs. Marquesano and the tons of of advocates and officers who agree along with her, the time for partial fixes is long gone. “We have now been begging for 21 years for these programs to combine and coordinate extra,” mentioned Paige Pierce, a parent-advocate and C.E.O. of the nonprofit Households Collectively. “Opponents maintain insisting {that a} merger won’t work. However what we now have proper now could be actually not working and has not been working for many years.”

The federal authorities appears able to acknowledge that, too. This spring, the Workplace of Nationwide Drug Management Coverage unveiled a brand new, “whole-of-government strategy to beat the overdose epidemic.” The Nationwide Drug Management Technique, because it’s referred to as, consists of billions in new funding for evidence-based remedy initiatives, a renewed dedication to combating drug traffickers and a plan to “make higher use of knowledge to information all these efforts.” These are welcome developments, however for the broader effort to succeed, officers at each stage should grapple with a roster of deeper flaws within the nation’s strategy to dependancy. Legal guidelines should change: Some drug-war-era statutes must be repealed. Others, together with these that concentrate on equal insurance coverage protection for behavioral well being circumstances, must be higher enforced. Businesses should be restructured in order that false distinctions between dependancy, psychological sickness and the remainder of drugs are lastly, totally erased. And funding streams should be reworked in order that they help relatively than impede evidence-based practices.

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For any of that to occur, although, policymakers and advocates should overcome the identical apathy and inertia which have thwarted many years’ price of earlier reform efforts. And the remainder of us should confront our enduring ambivalence about what dependancy really is and what the individuals who endure from it want and deserve.

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Lawmakers to Investigate Sexual Abuse in Junior R.O.T.C. Programs

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Congressional investigators have opened a overview of sexual misconduct within the Junior Reserve Officers’ Coaching Corps program of the U.S. army within the wake of experiences that dozens of teenage women had been abused by the hands of their instructors.

In a letter despatched on Monday to army leaders, together with Protection Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, the lawmakers mentioned they have been looking for data on what number of misconduct experiences had been acquired, how that they had been investigated and the way usually the army inspected faculty J.R.O.T.C. applications.

They mentioned that instructors within the J.R.O.T.C. program, which supplies coaching in management, marksmanship and civic duty in about 3,500 excessive colleges across the nation, served as trusted representatives of the army of their native communities.

“Each incident of sexual abuse or harassment dedicated by a J.R.O.T.C. teacher is a betrayal of that belief,” wrote Consultant Carolyn Maloney, the chairwoman of the Home Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Consultant Stephen Lynch, who chairs the panel’s subcommittee on nationwide safety.

The New York Occasions reported final month that J.R.O.T.C. applications had repeatedly turn into a spot the place adorned veterans — retired as officers or noncommissioned officers — preyed on teenage college students. The Occasions recognized, over a five-year interval, at the very least 33 J.R.O.T.C. instructors who had been criminally charged with sexual misconduct involving college students, together with many others who have been accused of misconduct however by no means charged.

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Many victims mentioned that they had turned to J.R.O.T.C. in highschool for stability of their lives or as a pathway to army service, solely to search out that instructors exploited their place to benefit from the scholars.

Based greater than a century in the past, J.R.O.T.C. has expanded to enroll tons of of hundreds of scholars every year. Cadets are offered instruction in army ranks and procedures, in addition to in additional common matters similar to public talking and monetary planning.

J.R.O.T.C. leaders level to analysis indicating that this system has had a constructive impact on faculty attendance and commencement charges, and plenty of cadets reward this system for offering very important classes and experiences throughout adolescence.

However The Occasions discovered that the instructors operated with weak oversight. Whereas they have been licensed by particular person branches of the army to take the roles in colleges, the army overseers did little to research issues or monitor the conduct of instructors, leaving that to the faculties. This system usually operates on the fringes of college campuses, with extracurricular actions after faculty hours or away from campus which are tough for college directors to watch.

In a number of instances recognized by The Occasions, instructors who have been criminally charged with misconduct had already been the topic of prior complaints.

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Together with requests for knowledge and data, the lawmakers requested that the Division of Protection present a briefing to the committee’s workers by the tip of this month.

“Whereas all J.R.O.T.C. instructors are required to finish a D.O.D. background investigation and be licensed by state or native training authorities, we stay involved that D.O.D. and the army companies lack an efficient means to watch the actions of J.R.O.T.C. instructors and make sure the security and well-being of cadets,” the lawmakers wrote. “With out enough oversight mechanisms in place, inappropriate habits might proceed undetected.”

Army branches have been struggling to fulfill their recruiting objectives, and Pentagon leaders have seen worth in the highschool program as a pipeline to enlistment. The U.S. Military Cadet Command discovered that college students from excessive colleges with J.R.O.T.C. applications have been greater than twice as prone to enlist after commencement.

Because the army works to draw certified recruits, the lawmakers mentioned, the companies should “redouble their efforts to advertise the protection, well-being and educational and private progress of our nation’s subsequent technology of leaders.”

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Texas School District Removes Bible and Anne Frank Adaptation in Back-to-School Sweep

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Sooner or later earlier than college students returned to school rooms in North Texas, a college district ordered principals and librarians to take away books together with the Bible and a graphic novel adaptation of Anne Frank’s “The Diary of a Younger Lady” from libraries and school rooms.

The Keller Impartial Faculty District reviewed the 41 challenged books in the course of the earlier faculty yr, however a coverage permitted by the college district’s board of trustees final week requires workers to drag the books from cabinets in order that they are often reviewed once more.

The last-minute e-book sweep is one in every of a number of adjustments in faculties throughout the nation that can prohibit college students’ entry to books within the new faculty yr. Dad and mom, faculty board officers and lawmakers have lately challenged books at a tempo not seen in years, with among the most scrutinized books coping with sexual and racial identification.

The Keller faculty district serves greater than 35,000 college students in a portion of Fort Price and in different North Texas cities. The district’s first day of faculty was on Wednesday. On Tuesday, a college administrator despatched an electronic mail, which was shared with The New York Occasions, to principals and librarians to inform them to take away sure books that had been challenged by the tip of the day. The listing included Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye.”

A number of the books, together with “The Bluest Eye” and the Anne Frank diary adaptation, had been permitted by a committee and permitted to stay in libraries after they have been challenged over the past faculty yr, in response to an internet file on the district’s web site. Different books, together with Maia Kobabe’s “Gender Queer,” have been faraway from the district’s assortment or have been allowed solely in highschool libraries or in particular elements of campus after the preliminary assessment.

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These books will probably be reviewed once more. The district’s seven-member board of trustees adopted a brand new coverage on Aug. 8 that requires the district to rethink each e-book that was challenged within the earlier yr. The district mentioned in a press release that the rules — which will probably be used to find out whether or not books are allowed on the cabinets — could be thought of by the board at its subsequent assembly, scheduled for Aug. 22. For college kids, these books are in limbo for now.

“As soon as in place, our librarians will be capable of use these pointers to assessment the books that had been challenged,” the assertion mentioned. “As quickly as a e-book is permitted by the brand new pointers, it will likely be returned to the shelf.”

The district mentioned that the trustees weren’t accessible for interviews on Wednesday morning.

Charles Randklev, the president of the board of trustees, mentioned in a Fb put up that the assessment was wanted “to guard children from sexually express content material.” He wrote that the earlier assessment course of “uncovered kids to pornographic materials.”

“The problem course of for these supplies will undergo a committee composed of group and workers members, which will probably be open to the general public and video and audio recorded,” Dr. Randklev wrote.

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Laney Hawes, a guardian of 4 kids within the district, mentioned she was one in every of about seven or eight folks on the assessment committee for the Anne Frank graphic novel. The committee members learn the e-book, met to speak about its worth for about 40 minutes and unanimously determined it ought to stay on faculty cabinets, she mentioned.

“We left that room pondering we saved it, we saved this e-book,” Ms. Hawes mentioned. “Just for this many months later to return again and be informed, ‘No, we don’t like your final result, so we at the moment are going to re-review each e-book in response to our strict listing of necessities.’”

Efforts to take away books from libraries, bookstores and faculties have all the time been current, however educators, librarians, dad and mom and politicians have mentioned that e-book bans have gotten extra frequent. The techniques have additionally modified, with conservative teams particularly backing these efforts in political races.

In North Texas, Patriot Cell Motion, a brand new Christian political motion committee, endorsed 11 faculty board candidates who all gained their elections. Three of these candidates started serving on the Keller faculty district board in Might 2022.

Jonathan Friedman, director of free expression and education schemes at PEN America, the free-speech group, mentioned in a press release that the Keller faculty board’s resolution was an “appalling affront to college students’ First Modification rights.”

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“It’s just about unimaginable to run a college or a library that purges books in response to any grievance from any nook,” Mr. Friedman mentioned.

Within the coming weeks, college students throughout the nation will return to highschool and face educators grappling with new restrictions born out of the renewed push to ban books.

In Florida, some faculties are debating how sure books adjust to a brand new regulation, referred to as “Don’t Say Homosexual” by opponents, which constrains classroom instruction and dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identification.

In a college district in Virginia, dad and mom will obtain a notification when their kids test a e-book out from the college library and will probably be requested to signal a consent type after receiving a syllabus that lists the assigned studying.

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National Endowment for the Humanities Announces $31.5 Million in Grants

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A PBS documentary on the 400-year historical past of Shakespeare’s performs, a New York Public Library summer season program for educators on efforts to safe equitable entry to schooling in Harlem within the twentieth century, and analysis for a ebook on the historical past of crimson hair are amongst 226 beneficiaries of recent grants from the Nationwide Endowment for the Humanities introduced on Tuesday.

The grants, which whole $31.5 million and are the third spherical awarded this 12 months, will help tasks at museums, libraries, universities and historic websites in 45 states and Washington, D.C., in addition to in Canada, England and the Netherlands.

Such tasks embrace a documentary, to be co-produced by Louisiana Public Broadcasting, concerning the Colfax Bloodbath — named after the city and parish the place dozens of former slaves have been killed throughout Reconstruction. One other, at Penn State, makes use of computational strategies to research the clouds in landscapes by John Constable and to hint the adoption of his Realist strategies by different Nineteenth-century European artists. Funding will even go towards analysis for a ebook analyzing how completely different cultures have envisioned Jesus, each in his personal time and all through historical past, by Elaine Pagels, a historian of faith at Princeton College.

Shelly C. Lowe, the endowment’s chairwoman, mentioned in a press release that the tasks, which embrace academic programming for highschool and school college students, “will foster the trade of concepts and improve entry to humanities data, sources and experiences.”

In New York, 31 tasks on the state’s cultural organizations will obtain $4.6 million in grants. Funding will help the creation of a brand new everlasting exhibition exploring 400 years of Brooklyn historical past on the Brooklyn Youngsters’s Museum, in addition to books about St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York throughout the top of the AIDS disaster and the Hospital of the Innocents, a 600-year-old kids’s care establishment in Florence, Italy.

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Funding will even go towards the event of a podcast concerning the Federal Writers’ Undertaking, a U.S. authorities initiative that supplied jobs for out-of-work writers throughout the Nice Despair, by the Washington-based Stone Soup Productions. One other grant will profit a historical past of the Cherokee Nation being co-authored by Julie Reed, a historian at Penn State, and Rose Stremlau, a historian at Davidson Faculty in North Carolina.

The grants will even profit the Peabody Collections, one of many oldest African American library collections within the nation, at Hampton College, and a ebook by John Lisle on a Eighties lawsuit in opposition to the Central Intelligence Company over its Chilly Struggle-era MK-Extremely program, which concerned experiments in thoughts management.

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