The Response of the Schools to Teenage Pregnancy and Parenthood

by Gail L. Zellman

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Although Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments affirmed the right of pregnant and parenting students to remain in school, few districts have established programs that help or encourage them to do so. This report examines 12 such programs, assesses the education and support they offer, and suggests guidelines for setting up special programs. Programs fall into two categories: "inclusive curriculum" programs offer pregnant students regular education plus services at separate sites; and "non-inclusive" programs offer them services that supplement the regular school program and continue after pregnancy. Considering the strengths and weaknesses of both models, the report concludes that while non-inclusive programs are generally better suited to the long-term needs of adolescent mothers, no single program model is appropriate for all communities or teenage mothers. Program choice should reflect community attitudes, dispersal of students, and number of pregnancies. Federal and state agencies can improve local education agency response by providing support and technical assistance.

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