H. R. 1845
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
May 7, 2013
Mr. Polis (for himself and Ms. Chu) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce
To authorize the Secretary of Education to make grants to promote the education of pregnant and parenting students.
This Act may be cited as the
Pregnant and Parenting Students Access
to Education Act of 2013
Findings and purposes
The Congress finds the following:
There are approximately 750,000 teen pregnancies and 400,000 teen births annually in the United States.
Although teen pregnancy and birth rates in the United States have declined by 42 percent and 49 percent respectively since the early 1990s, it is still the case that nearly 3 in 10 girls in the United States become pregnant at least once by age 20.
The teen pregnancy and birth rates in the United States are higher than in any other Western industrialized country.
The figure is even higher among Latinas (44 percent) and African-American girls (48 percent).
There are geographic variations in teen childbearing; in 2010, the teen birth rate in rural counties was nearly one-third higher compared to the rest of the country regardless of age, race, or ethnicity.
Many pregnant and parenting students face significant barriers in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school, including—
discrimination in violation of title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, including stigmatization at school by administrators, teachers, and peer students;
a lack of consistent policies at the State, district, and school levels that allow for excused absences for prenatal and postnatal health care appointments in order for teen parents to successfully complete their education;
difficulty maintaining academic progress while out of school leading up to or following the birth of a child;
juggling school work with parenting responsibilities;
lack of access to affordable quality child care and transportation to and from the child care arrangement and school, which can, as a practical matter, make it virtually impossible for a parenting student to attend school regularly; and
stereotypes that future opportunities for postsecondary education or careers are limited for pregnant and parenting students, which can diminish students’ motivation to stay engaged in school.
Fully 30 percent of teen girls who have dropped out of school cite pregnancy or parenthood as a reason.
Only about half (51 percent) of teen mothers earned a high school diploma by age 22 compared to 89 percent of women who didn’t have a teen birth.
Less than 2 percent of young teen mothers attain a college degree by age 30.
Studies of females and males who dropped out of high school indicate that becoming a parent played a role in their discontinuation of school, and in many cases it played a major role. For example, nearly half of all female dropouts and one-third of male dropouts said that becoming a parent played a role in their decision to leave school.
Nearly 1 in 5 births to mothers aged 15 through 19 is a repeat birth, totaling nearly 67,000 repeat births.
Because teen pregnancy and parenting are significant risk factors for dropout, teen pregnancy prevention can go a long way toward improving high school graduation rates.
Females who do not earn a high school diploma are especially likely to face severe economic consequences—to be unemployed, to earn very low wages, and to have to rely on public support programs—that significantly affect not only individual students and their families, but also our national economy as a whole.
Teen childbearing in the United States cost taxpayers (Federal, State and local) at least $10.9 billion in 2008.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ( 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq. ) prohibits educational institutions that receive Federal funding from discriminating against pregnant and parenting students, and its implementing regulations detail schools’ obligations to ensure that pregnant and parenting students have access to equal educational opportunities.
Some States currently collect data about the pregnancy and parenting status of secondary school students, but most do not, and there is no nationwide data collection on this important dimension of the student population.
Some local educational agencies are making active efforts to engage and re-engage pregnant and parenting youth in secondary education by implementing voluntary programs that provide or arrange academic and support services for them, including individualized graduation plans, flexible scheduling, homebound instruction for extended absences, school-based child care, transportation assistance, health and social service referrals, and parent education courses.
The responsibilities of pregnancy and parenting can also interfere with the attainment of a college degree. 61 percent of women who have children after enrolling in community college do not graduate. Women who do not have children after enrollment graduate at a 65 percent higher rate than women who do.
Federal financial assistance to local educational agencies to start or expand voluntary student academic and support service programs and initiatives for pregnant and parenting students is imperative to helping these students prepare for careers and post-secondary education opportunities, and care for their children without need for long-term public assistance.
The purposes of this Act are—
to ensure that each pregnant and parenting student has equal access to the same free, appropriate, high-quality public education that is provided to other students;
to improve high school graduation rates, career-readiness, access to postsecondary educational opportunities, and outcomes for pregnant and parenting students and their children; and
to assist each State and local educational agency in improving its graduation rates and fulfilling its responsibilities under title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ( 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq. ) with respect to pregnant and parenting students.
Grants for State and local activities for the education of pregnant and parenting students
The Secretary of Education is authorized to make grants to States to carry out the activities described in subsection (d). A grant made under this section shall be for a minimum of 3 years, and the Secretary shall have the discretion to renew the grant at the end of the grant period.
A State desiring to receive a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may reasonably require, including, at a minimum, the State plan described in subsection (f).
Allocation of funds
Reservation of funds for national activities
From the funds made available to carry out this Act, the Secretary may reserve not more than 5 percent for national activities.
Allotment to the Secretary of the Interior
The amount allocated for payments under this Act to the Secretary of the Interior for any fiscal year shall be, as determined pursuant to criteria established by the Secretary, the amount necessary to meet the needs of—
Indian children on reservations served by secondary schools for Indian children operated or supported by the Department of the Interior; and
out-of-State Indian children in elementary schools and secondary schools in local educational agencies under special contracts with the Department of the Interior.
Formula grants to States
The Secretary shall allocate to States having approved applications the funds remaining after the application of paragraphs (1) and (2) based on the percentage of the State’s number of teen births compared to the number of teen births nationally, except that the minimum grant for a State shall be $300,000.
Supplement not supplant
Grant funds provided under paragraph (3) shall be used only to supplement the funds that would, in the absence of such Federal funds, be made available from non-Federal sources for the education of pupils participating in programs assisted under this Act, and not to supplant such funds.
Use of funds
Funds made available to a State under this Act shall be used for the following:
To provide or enhance educational programs and related services that enable pregnant and parenting students to enroll in, attend, and succeed in school, and that are culturally and linguistically competent.
To designate a Coordinator for Education of Pregnant and Parenting Students in the State educational agency to direct and manage the State educational agency’s activities related to this Act, in collaboration with the State’s designated employee responsible for the State’s efforts to comply with and carry out, to the fullest extent, its responsibilities under title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ( 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq. ).
To prepare and carry out a State plan described in subsection (f).
To develop and implement high-quality professional development programs for local educational agencies and school personnel.
To direct grants to rural and other local educational agencies without capacity to prepare an application for funds so that such local educational agencies may carry out the activities described in subsections (e) and (f) of section 4.
To ensure that information about the program is disseminated to all local educational agencies and made publicly and readily available on the State educational agency’s Web site, including—
the name and contact information for the individuals described in subparagraph (B);
a list of subgrantees; and
an explanation of the rights of students and responsibilities of schools under title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ( 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq. ), including investigation and complaint procedures as required under subsection (a) and (b) of section 106.8 of title 34, Code of Federal Regulations (as in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act).
Reservation for State-level activities
From the funds made available to a State under this Act, a State may reserve not more than 10 percent for State-level activities.
The State shall distribute at least 90 percent of each State grant as subgrants to local educational agencies in accordance with section 4.
Coordinator for Education of Pregnant and Parenting Students
The Coordinator for Education of Pregnant and Parenting Students in the State educational agency described in subsection (d)(1)(B) shall—
gather information on the nature and extent of State and local efforts to prevent teen pregnancy and the nature and extent of barriers to educational access and success facing pregnant and parenting students in the State, including information on reported incidents of discrimination;
develop and carry out the State plan described in subsection (f);
collect and report information to the Secretary of Education, such as that which is listed in subparagraphs (A) through (G) of section 6(a)(6);
facilitate the coordination of services with the State agencies responsible for administering programs affecting children, youth, and families (including for the purposes of maximizing the leveraging of resources from such agencies), including—
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families;
Children’s Health Insurance Program;
teen pregnancy prevention, family planning, and maternal and child health programs;
Women, Infants and Children Food and Nutrition Service;
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program;
child care programs;
early childhood education, home visitation, and child welfare programs;
workforce investment programs and postsecondary education;
housing assistance and homeless assistance programs;
school-based health services programs; and
programs carried out by Federally qualified health centers (as defined in sections 1861(aa)(4) and 1905(a)(2)(B) of the Social Security Act ( 42 U.S.C. 1395x(aa)(4) and 1396d(a)(2)(B))), health centers (as defined in section 330 of the Public Health Service Act ( 42 U.S.C. 254b )), and outpatient health programs and facilities operated by tribal organizations;
coordinate and collaborate with educators, service providers, and local educational agency pregnant and parenting student liaisons;
provide technical assistance and training to local educational agencies, including the dissemination of best practices; and
report to the Secretary any complaints received by the State about discrimination based on pregnancy or parenting status and what actions were taken to address those complaints.
Pursuant to subsection (d)(1)(C), each State shall submit a plan to provide for the education of pregnant and parenting students. Such plan shall include the following:
A description of how such students will be given the opportunity to meet the same rigorous academic achievement and college and career-readiness standards that all students are expected to meet.
The policy, protocol, or procedure that each district or State implements once a pregnancy has been discovered on campus; including how each district ensures the student understands his or her rights under title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.).
A description of how the State will identify such students.
A description of training programs to raise awareness of school personnel regarding the rights and educational needs of pregnant and parenting students.
A description of procedures designed to ensure that students eligible for Federal, State, or local food, housing, health care, temporary assistance, or child care programs are informed of their eligibility for, assisted in enrolling in, and able to participate in such programs.
A description of procedures designed to ensure that students eligible for Federal, State, or local after-school programs or supplemental educational services are enrolled in and able to participate in such programs.
Strategies that respond to the problems identified under subsection (e)(1).
A demonstration that the State and its local educational agencies have developed, reviewed, and revised policies to remove barriers to enrollment and retention of pregnant and parenting students in schools in the State.
State educational agencies and local educational agencies will not stigmatize, discriminate against, or involuntarily segregate students on the basis of pregnancy or parenting;
local educational agencies will designate a pregnant and parenting student liaison to communicate with the Coordinator for Education of Pregnant and Parenting Students in the State educational agency and oversee the provision of services at the local educational agency and school levels; and
State educational agencies and local educational agencies will ensure that transportation is provided for students who have an inability to pay for transportation and who—
choose to attend programs for pregnant and parenting students located outside of their school of origin; or
need transportation to and from school and the student’s child care provider for the student and the student’s child, respectively.
Description of how the State will ensure that local educational agencies comply with requirements of this Act.
A description of technical assistance to be provided to local educational agencies.
Professional development and public education
Each State and each local educational agency shall include in professional development and public education materials reference to, and shall ensure that school personnel, students, and family members of students are aware of title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ( 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq. ) and its implementing regulations, which set forth the Federal civil right to be free from discrimination on the basis of a student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom. This includes the right to be free from harassment and stigmatization on those bases, as well as the following:
The right to enroll in any school or program for which they would otherwise qualify.
If enrolled into a special program or separate school, the right to an education equal in quality to that offered to other students in the mainstream or originating school.
The right to decline to participate in a specialized program or separate school.
The right to continue their education in the school in which they were enrolled, or would have been enrolled, prior to the student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom, including elementary or secondary schools, charter schools, honors and magnet programs, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs, career and technical education programs, special education and non-public school placements, alternative options or programs, migrant education, free and reduced lunch programs, services for English language learners, physical education programs, after-school academic programs, and any others for which they are otherwise qualified.
The right to participate in school activities including graduations and other ceremonies; to receive awards or peer recognition; to participate on field trips, student clubs and councils, in after-school activities, including cheerleading or athletics teams; and in any other school-related programs, subject to providing a medical release if that is required of all students who have physical or emotional conditions requiring the attention of medical personnel and who want to continue participating.
The right to the same benefits and services offered to students with other temporary disabilities.
The right to an excused absence for as long as the student’s physician deems it medically necessary, without penalty, and automatic return to the status the student held prior to the leave of absence.
The right not to be retaliated against for raising awareness of, complaining about, or reporting discrimination.
Coordination for support services
Local educational agencies may coordinate with social services agencies, public health agencies, youth services providers, or other community-based organizations for the purposes of ensuring that pregnant and parenting students have access to the academic support services they need to continue their education; and to raise awareness among agencies about pregnant and parenting students and their educational rights and opportunities.
Pregnant and parenting student liaison
The duties of a local educational agency’s pregnant and parenting student liaison shall include—
identification, by consulting with school personnel, and by self-reports, of pregnant and parenting students in need of services to help them stay in school and succeed;
gathering information on the nature and extent of barriers to educational access and success facing pregnant and parenting students in the geographic area served by the local educational agency, including information on reported incidents of discrimination;
ensuring and facilitating the continued enrollment of pregnant and parenting students in school in an academic program that best meets the educational goals of the student and his or her family;
ensuring that the educational and related barriers faced by pregnant and parenting students are addressed, and that any services and referrals provided are culturally and linguistically competent;
informing pregnant and parenting students of educational and related services extended to pregnant and parenting students and of their right under title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.) to continue their education; and
coordinating the provision of services in conjunction with the Coordinator for Education of Pregnant and Parenting Students in the State educational agency and with community organizations and partners.
Local educational agency subgrants for the education of pregnant and parenting students
A State educational agency receiving a grant under section 3 shall make competitive subgrants to local educational agencies for the purpose of facilitating the enrollment, attendance, and success in school of pregnant and parenting students. Services may be provided on school grounds or at other facilities.
Local educational agencies seeking subgrants shall submit an application to the State educational agency in time and manner required by the State. The application shall include—
an assessment of the educational and related needs of pregnant and parenting students in the local educational agency;
a description of the local educational agency’s plan for addressing those needs, and assurance that the specific services and programs for which subgrants are being sought are culturally and linguistically competent;
assurance of the local educational agency’s compliance with local educational agency requirements established in section 3; and
a description of the local educational agency’s plan for continuing specific services and programs for which subgrants are being sought in case of the loss of or absence of Federal assistance.
Subgrants under this section shall be awarded on the basis of need and the strength of the application in meeting the requirements and goals of this Act. Priority consideration shall be given to applications from local educational agencies serving students in geographic areas with—
teen birth rates that are higher than the State average; or
teen birth rates below the State average but having one or more racial or ethnic groups with teen birth rates higher than the State average.
Subgrants under this section shall be for periods not to exceed 3 years.
Subgrant funds shall be expended for activities that include—
the provision of academic support services for pregnant and parenting students, which may include, but are not limited to academic counseling, the development of individualized graduation plans, assistance with class scheduling, assistance with planning for and gaining access to postsecondary educational opportunities, assistance securing tutoring or other academic support services, supplemental instruction, homework assistance, tutoring, or other educational services, such as homebound instruction services to be provided during extended leaves of absence due to pregnancy complications, childbirth, or the illness of a student’s child, to keep the student on track to finish the student’s classes and graduate;
assistance to pregnant and parenting students in gaining access to quality, affordable child care and early childhood education services;
the provision of transportation services or assistance so that parenting students and their children can get to and from school and child care, respectively, and so that pregnant students unable to walk long distances can get to school if transportation is not already provided for that student;
the provision of services and programs to attract, engage, and retain pregnant and parenting students in school, including informing pregnant and parenting teenagers and their family members and caring adults of their right to continue their education, the importance of doing so, and the consequences of not doing so;
the education of students, parents and community members about the educational rights of pregnant and parenting students;
the professional development of school personnel regarding the challenges facing pregnant and parenting students and their educational rights;
proactive outreach efforts to assist pregnant and parenting teenagers with excessive absences and to re-enroll pregnant or parenting teenagers who have dropped out of school;
the revision of school policies and practices to remove barriers and to encourage pregnant and parenting students to continue their education, including—
the revision of attendance policies to allow for students to be excused from school, school activities, after-school activities, or school-related programs for—
attendance at pregnancy-related medical appointments, including expectant fathers who are students;
fulfillment of the student’s parenting responsibilities, including arranging child care, caring for the student’s sick child or children, and attending medical appointments for the student’s child or children; and
such other situations beyond the control of the student as determined by the board of education in each local educational agency, or such other circumstances which cause reasonable concern to student or the student’s parent for the safety or health of the student, for example addressing circumstances resulting from domestic or sexual violence; and
the creation and implementation of a policy flexible enough to meet the individualized lactation and medical needs of student mothers, including reasonable break time from class, access to a clean, private space and protection from retaliation for this purpose;
the provision to student parents, and at a student’s request, also to a non-student parent or other family members and caring adults, of training and support in parenting skills, healthy relationship skills, strategies to prevent future unplanned pregnancy, and other life skills such as goal setting, budgeting, time management, financial literacy, networking, job interviewing, applying for college and securing financial aid; and
the provision to pregnant and parenting students of educational and career mentoring services and peer groups, whether during school hours or after school.
Subgrant funds may be expended for allowable activities such as—
the provision of child care and early childhood education for the child of the parenting student, either by providing these services directly on school grounds or by other arrangement, such as by providing financial assistance to obtain such services at a child care facility within a reasonable distance of the school;
the provision of case management services to pregnant and parenting students, such as assistance with applying for and accessing public benefits and Federal financial aid for postsecondary education and training;
the provision of, or referrals to, pregnancy prevention, primary health care, maternal and child health, family planning, mental health, substance abuse, housing assistance, homeless assistance, legal aid services, including paternity testing, establishing parental rights, child custody arrangements, and other services needed by the student;
the provision of emergency financial or in-kind assistance to a parenting student to fulfill the basic human needs of a student and the student’s child;
efforts to create a positive school climate for pregnant and parenting students, including addressing discrimination against, harassment and stigmatization of pregnant and parenting students; and
the provision of training practicums for graduate students in social work to carry out the purpose of the grant.
Medically accurate and complete information
With respect to information provided under paragraph (1)(C) and subsection (e)(9), whether provided by local educational agencies or by contract or arrangement as described in subsection (g), the information shall be, where appropriate, medically accurate and complete and developmentally appropriate for the intended audience.
For purposes of this paragraph, the term medically accurate and complete means verified or supported by the weight of research conducted in compliance with accepted scientific methods and—
published in peer-reviewed journals, where applicable; or
comprising information that leading professional organizations and agencies with relevant expertise in the field recognize as accurate, objective, and complete.
Activities of nonprofit community organizations
Local educational agencies may provide and expend subgrant funds on required activities authorized in subsection (e) or allowable activities authorized in subsection (f) directly or by contract or arrangement with social services agencies, public health agencies, youth services providers, or other nonprofit community-based organizations with experience effectively assisting pregnant and parenting students to stay in school by conducting the activities described in subsections (e) and (f).
Conversion to categorical program in event of failure of state regarding expenditure of grants
The Secretary shall, from the amounts specified in subsection (b), make grants to local educational agencies in a State described in subsection (b) for the required activities specified in section 4(e) and the allowable activities specified in section 4(f).
A local educational agency desiring a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time and in such manner as the Secretary may require.
Specification of funds
The amounts referred to in subsection (a) are any amounts that would have been allocated to a State under section 3(c)(3) that are not paid to the State as a result of—
the failure of the State to submit an application under section 3(b);
the failure of the State, in the determination of the Secretary, to prepare the application in accordance with such section or to submit the application within a reasonable period of time; or
the State informing the Secretary that the State does not intend to expend the full amount of such allocation.
The Secretary of Education shall carry out the following activities:
Review of State plans to ensure they adequately address all of the elements listed in section 3(f) of this Act.
Provide technical assistance to State educational agencies.
Provide guidance to Federal programs and grantees likely to have contact with pregnant and parenting students and their family members and caring adults regarding the educational rights of pregnant and parenting students and the State educational agencies responsibilities, including the responsibilities under this Act.
At the end of each 3-year grant period, conduct a rigorous, evidence-based, comprehensive evaluation of the local educational agency programs funded by these grants and their effectiveness in improving graduation rates and educational outcomes for pregnant and parenting students, including acceptance and enrollment in higher education. The findings of such evaluations shall be reported to Congress.
Conduct a one-time national evaluation of pregnant and parenting student access to education program service delivery models, directly or via contract with an independent research institution. Identify and disseminate the findings and best practices at the State and local levels, including models of programs that are successful at, or show promise of, serving specific racial or ethnic groups or have been modified and tested with specific racial or ethnic groups, and create an online best practices clearinghouse as a resource for other State educational agencies and local educational agencies.
Annually collect and disseminate nonpersonally identifiable data and information, in a manner protective of student privacy, and disaggregated by each school or alternative program identified pursuant to subparagraph (B) and by whether services for pregnant and parenting students are offered in school or off-site, on—
the number of pregnant and parenting students enrolled in school;
rates and participation of pregnant and parenting students in mainstream or originating schools, rates and participation of pregnant and parenting students in alternative programs and, for each alternative program, an indication as to whether it is offered in a mainstream school or off-site;
pregnant and parenting students’ performance on academic assessments;
pregnant and parenting students’ graduation rates, dropout rates and transfer rates;
rates of usage by pregnant and parenting students of child care services or assistance (if offered);
rates of usage by pregnant or parenting students of other services offered (broken down by type of service); and
such other data and information as the Secretary determines to be necessary and relevant.
Coordinate data collection and dissemination with the agencies and entities that receive funds under this Act and those that administer programs in accordance with this Act.
Notwithstanding subsection (a)(6)(B) through (F), if the number of pregnant and parenting students in a particular school or program in a State is smaller than a size determined by such State, it shall be reported by the applicable local educational agency, and if the number of pregnant and parenting students under the jurisdiction of a local educational agency in a State is smaller than a size determined by such State, it shall be reported by such State.
Effect on Federal and State nondiscrimination laws
Nothing in this Act shall be construed to preempt, invalidate, or limit rights, remedies, procedures, or legal standards available to victims of discrimination or retaliation under any other Federal law or a law of a State or political subdivision of a State, including title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ( 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq. ), title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ( 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq. ), section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ( 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq. ), section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18116), or section 1979 of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1983). The obligations imposed by this Act are in addition to those imposed by title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.), title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ( 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq. ), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ( 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq. ), and section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18116).
Definition of State
For purposes of this Act, the term State means each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, and any other territory or possession of the United States.
Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 2014 through 2018.