Policy Brief: Preventing Teen Pregnancy is Critical to School Completion

America's Promise Alliance,
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
Year Published: 2010
Paper/Research Report
America's Promise Alliance
America's Promise Alliance

One of every three students (1.3 million annually) fails to graduate from high school in this country, and the crisis is even more severe among minority students. Yet as school officials and other stakeholders develop strategies that will help reduce these alarming dropout rates, an important piece of the puzzle - teen pregnancy and parenthood - is often neglected. Fully 30 percent of teen girls cite pregnancy or parenthood as a key reason for dropping out of high school, and rates are even higher for African American and Latino girls. The crisis extends to postsecondary institutions as well. Less than two percent of teen moms finish college by age 30, and 61 percent of women who have children after enrolling in community college fail to finish their degree. Moreover, a child's chance of growing up in poverty is nine times greater if the parents were unmarried when the child was born, and if the mother did not receive a high school diploma than if none of these circumstances are present. In this fact sheet, the authors highlight statistics about teen pregnancy and school completion, and offer recommendations for addressing this issue.

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