Study: Pregnant Teens In Need of Better School Support

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A new national study points to Idaho and a number of other states as having vague definitions of excused absences, leading to what it calls "a patchwork of policies where some school districts don't excuse absences even if the student is in a hospital giving birth."

The report by the National Women's Law Center is the foundation for child advocates to push for greater adherence to a 1972 law that bans sex discrimination in federally funded education programs. Nearly 400,000 girls and young women between 15 and 19 years old gave birth in 2010, a rate of 34 per 1,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But half of the nation's states have programs that send homework assignments to homebound or hospitalized student parents, according to the study.

The research says only a few states have developed programs to help improve graduate rates among pregnant girls and young mothers. The study says "many schools say they can't afford costly support programs, including tutoring, child care and transportation for teens who may live a few miles from school but still too far to walk while pregnant or with a small child."

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