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D.C. Program To Help Pregnant Teens Proves Successful

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Today is the 41st anniversary of Title 9, and part of that law requires pregnant and parenting students to receive equal access to schools. The District has made great strides in supporting these students over the past few years.

For instance, caseworkers with the New Heights Teen Parent Program help coordinate students' schoolwork and medical appointments with teachers so they don't fall behind. There are also workshops on finances and childcare.

The program is now in 15 D.C high schools and serves approximately 550 students.

Diana Bruce oversees the program for DCPS and says participating teens are more likely to graduate high school.

"We are also seeing very few repeat pregnancies," says Bruce.

Lara Kauffman with the National Women's Law Center says in D.C. and across the country, these students still face barriers to an education.

"Some examples include not excusing absences related to childbirth, not allowing students to make up work they missed because of child birth," she says.

Kauffman says nationally only half of all teen mothers graduate by age 22.


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