Urge Your Members of Congress to Co-Sponsor Pregnant and Parenting Student Bill

young_woman_babyHealthy Teen Network and the National Women’s Law Center are co-leading an effort to improve graduation rates among pregnant and parenting youth by providing these students the necessary policy and resource supports to assist them in completing their high school educations prepared for college or careers. We are thrilled to report that U.S. Senator Tom Udall (New Mexico) and U.S. Representative Jared Polis (Colorado) have stepped forward in Congress to lead this charge by agreeing to introduce the Pregnant and Parenting Students Access to Education Act (PPSAE).

These Members of Congress plan to introduce their bills in May. They have invited their Senate and House colleagues to join their legislation as co-sponsors. And that won’t happen unless Senators and Representatives hear that the educational success of pregnant and parenting youth matters to constituents back home!

Healthy Teen Network urges our members and supporters to weigh-in in support of this legislation of unique importance to the pregnant and parenting teens over whom we take special responsibility. Take action today and assist us in building local and statewide support for the Pregnant and Parenting Students Access to Education Act. Write Your Senators and Representatives now using this automated, customizable action message for individuals and organization representatives to generate messages to your Members of Congress in the matter of a few key strokes. Any individual can take this action, which takes five minutes or less. Also, please distribute the link to the young people you support, your colleagues, and your friends and ask them to take action also.

Help spread the word on social media! Sample Facebook status updates and Tweets you can use to share this action alert with your networks:

TAKE ACTION: Urge your members of Congress to co-sponsor Pregnant and Parenting Student Bill! #PPSAE http://bit.ly/ZYbYGI

ACT NOW to ensure access to education for pregnant & parenting teens! #PPSAE http://bit.ly/ZYbYGI 

Help improve graduation rates among pregnant and parenting youth! #PPSAE http://bit.ly/ZYbYGI

Join the Roster of Organizations Supporting the PPSAE Act–Healthy Teen Network and National Women’s Law Center are orchestrating a sign-on letter for national, state, regional, and local organizations of all types to demonstrate support for the Pregnant and Parenting Students Access to Education Act. To join the letter, send your organization name and contact information to Bob Reeg, Healthy Teen Network Senior Policy Analyst. Please consider forwarding this sign-on request to other organizations that have an interest in marginalized youth and young families.

President’s FY 2014 Budget Request Unveiled

Bob Reeg

Bob Reeg

President Obama has submitted to Congress his budget request for fiscal year 2014. The annual President’s Budget represents the Administration’s stance on the overall size, scope, and long-term trajectory of the federal government budget as well as the executive branch’s desired spending levels for all federal programs for the upcoming federal fiscal year (which commences each year on October 1).  Finally, the release of the President’s Budget kicks off Congress’s deliberations on annual appropriations for federal programs.  Such deliberations will begin in haste, now that the President’s Budget is available for Congressional review.

Healthy Teen Network supports a robust federal government funded at full capacity to ensure full health and high-quality of life of all Americans. We pay particular attention to and advocate in support of a range of sexual and reproductive health services programs.  For FY 2014, the President’s Budget recommends appropriations for these sexual and reproductive health services programs at the following levels:

  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (TPPI): $104.6 million, a restoration of $5.4 million lost to TPPI due to the sequestration of FY 2013 appropriations.
  • Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP): $82 million in FY 2014, the sum of the mandated annual appropriation of $75 million to PREP plus the re-obligation of $5 million in unspent PREP funds. The President’s Budget would restore $3.8 million lost to PREP due to the sequestration of FY 2013 appropriations.
  • CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH): $32.4 million, roughly level to the FY 2012 appropriation.
  • Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF): $25 million, the mandated annual appropriation level for this program.
  • Maternal and Child Health Block Grant: $369 million, level funding with FY 2012 and a certain increase over the FY 2013 appropriation due to sequestration.
  • Home Visiting: $400 million, a scheduled increase of $50 million above the FY 2013 mandated annual appropriation to the Maternal, Infant, and Early Child Home Visiting Program.
  • Title X Family Planning Services: $327 million, an increase of $34 million above the FY 2012 enacted level.

The President’s Budget proposes to eliminate the Competitive Abstinence Education Grant Program (currently funded at $5 million) and to permit the transfer of $13 million in mandated state abstinence education dollars unclaimed by states declining to accept such funds toward a teen pregnancy prevention competitive grant program focused on youth in foster care.

For additional information on the President’s Budget request for FY 2014 and background information on each of the federal programs above, view these in-depth budget resources:

Bob Reeg is the Senior Policy Analyst at Healthy Teen Network.

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