Dept of Ed Supports Pregnant and Parenting Students

by Colette Moran

A couple of weeks ago the Department of Education released new Title IX guidance geared to support the academic success of pregnant and parenting students. The National Women’s Law Center took note:

It has been 40 years since the passage of Title IX and 22 years since the Department of Education last released guidance related to pregnant and parenting students. While pregnant and parenting students are protected by the non-discrimination provisions of Title IX, many students and school administrators need a strong reminder of what is required by Title IX. The educational attainment statistics for pregnant and parenting students are staggering:

  • For female students, pregnancy is the most common family-related reason for dropping out of high school;
  • Twenty-six percent of young men and women who have dropped out of high school — and one-third of women — said that becoming a parent was a major factor in their decision to leave school;
  • Only 51 percent of young women who had a child before age 20 earned their high school diploma by age 22; and
  • Only 2 percent of young women who had a child before 18 earned a college degree by age 30.

The lack of educational support puts pregnant and parenting students in a precarious situation — often unemployed or underemployed, earning less, and having to rely on government benefits.

The Law Center went on to say that they receive weekly calls from students dealing with these kinds of issues, and that hopefully these new guidelines will help schools recognize their obligations to help support these students and their families.

Feminists for Life also applauded this development, as they have been advocates for the rights of pregnant and parenting students on campuses for some 19 years. They work with colleges and universities across the country in developing local resource guides, holding forums with staff and students, and offering their committed support.

Learn more about FFL’s efforts – and how you can send a pregnancy resource kit to your alma mater’s campus – here.