A Title IX Perspective on the Schools' Response to Teenage Pregnancy and Parenthood

by Gail L. Zellman


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Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments mandated that schools could no longer exclude pregnant and parenting students, but required no further affirmative action. Most schools and staff prefer to do nothing about the problem, regarding it as too volatile and not the schools' responsibility. However, some have established special programs, 12 of which RAND staff visited in 11 school districts. The impetus, form, and quality of programs seem necessarily to depend on the efforts of a motivated person, there being a leadership vacuum at the federal, state, and local levels. Three programs were identified as "exemplary" according to criteria of percentage of eligible students served, coordination with community agencies, quality of resources, level of district support, and quality of services. More leadership, technical assistance, and financing from state education agencies, federal agencies, and school districts could increase the number and quality of programs.

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