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The Best and the Worst of the Week

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The 24th Judicial Court judges
now require 5-to-16-year-olds, whose parents are divorcing or separating, to attend two mandatory counseling programs. The 16-judge court already requires educational programs for divorcing parents to teach them about the impact of divorce on children. The programs are developed and administered by the nonprofit advocacy group Voices for Children, a leader in educating the public about how divorce affects youths.

Several Jefferson, St. Charles and St. John parish elementary schools ,
in a misguided response to poor student academic performance, have trimmed or eradicated recess time for students. The decision has drawn criticism from experts who say that daily opportunities for physical exercise and play are necessary for children to focus in the classroom. Experts also point out that Louisiana already leads the nation in obese kids.

The New Orleans Recreation Department
was unaware that volunteer football coach Vauchon Cojoe had multiple drug convictions and faced trial on another charge. Cojoe, who wasn't a NORD coach but played at NORD facilities against NORD teams, was shot Nov. 8 at a Seventh Ward park in front of his preteen players. The shooting death prompted a new NORD mandate that should have already existed: background checks for all coaches participating in its programs.

Gov. Mike Foster's Executive Department
poorly manages millions of dollars in grant money, sometimes awarding funds for the same or similar purposes, according to a recent audit by Legislative Auditor Dan Kyle. The report said the office needed to improve its efforts to avoid overlapping funding. State financial officials responded that the audit itself ignored evidence to the contrary, but auditors replied the evidence presented was insufficient.

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