Teen Pregnancy Is Still a Problem – School Districts Just Stopped Paying Attention
Programs that once helped teen parents stay in school have been gutted, in part because teen pregnancy rates have dropped to historic lows. Some states and districts that once had robust support programs for teen parents now have no dedicated funding for these vulnerable kids.
But teens are still getting pregnant. Nearly 300,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 give birth every year in the United States – almost three percent of girls in that age group – and a third of them won’t earn a diploma or a GED by age 22. Less than two percent will earn a college degree by age 30. Their babies are more likely to do poorly in school, to have health problems, to suffer from child abuse, to end up in jail or unemployed and to become teen parents themselves, continuing a cycle of poverty and trauma that can last for generations. To break that cycle, these young parents need intensive attention.