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Teen Pregnancy
PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Jul 22, 2015

U.S. House Budget Bill Seeks Deep Cuts To Education, Labor & Health Programs

Progress Illinois takes a closer look at a U.S. House budget bill covering the departments of labor, health and human services (HHS) and education. The House Appropriations Committee advanced the spending measure last month.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Sep 29, 2014

New Report Calls Attention To Educational Barriers Impacting African-American Girls

A new national report is sounding the alarm on school-achievement obstacles that harm African-American girls.

Young African-American females are "faring worse than the national average for girls on almost every measure of academic achievement" due to "pervasive, systemic barriers in education rooted in racial and gender bias and stereotypes," according to the report by the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

"The futures of African-American girls are on the line," stressed NWLC's Co-President Marcia Greenberger. "It’s shameful that too many girls are falling between the cracks of an educational system that ignores their real needs. A strong education is essential for people in our country to compete in our economy and earn wages that can support themselves and their families. It's critical to turn this crisis around and put these girls on a path to success."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Oct 25, 2013

Youth Advocates Call For Better Pregnancy, Parenting Student Supports

The rights of pregnant and parenting students in Illinois are often overlooked, and more supports need to be in place to ensure the youth reach their full academic potential, school officials and adolescent health advocates said at a town hall meeting on the topic in Chicago.

The meeting, hosted by the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health's (ICAH) School Network, follows recently-released guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (OCR) on strategies meant to support the academic success of pregnant and parenting students under Title IX. The department's optional recommendations issued in June were prepared for secondary school administrators, teachers, counselors, parents and students.

ICAH's Executive Director Yamani Hernandez said a "blanket of shame" still shrouds many young people who are pregnant or parenting and, "That’s really a barrier to their success."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue May 14, 2013

Illinois Senate May Vote On Comprehensive Sex Ed Bill This Week

A state measure that looks to revamp sex education in Illinois’ public schools was approved in the House last month and could possibly go up for a full Senate vote this week.

The bill, HB 2675, would require schools with sex education classes for grades 6 through 12 to stress abstinence, but also incorporate contraception into the discussion. Schools would also be required to provide students with information on how to avoid contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). 

Under the measure, schools currently teaching sex education would also have to adopt medically-accurate and evidence-based information into lesson plans.

As it stands now, those components are not part of the Illinois School Code related to sexual health education, said Joy Messinger, deputy director of the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health.

“That piece is extremely important,” Messinger said. “We believe, and we know based on lots and lots of research, that abstinence-only until marriage education is ineffective, and it often presents an inaccurate view of sexual health.”