It’s time to advocate to your legislators that they include teen pregnancy prevention and teen parent supports in their priority lists for the fiscal year 2013 (FY13) budget!
Call and write your legislators. You can find your legislators and their contact information here.
Use the following script for your calls/letters (feel free to mention one or all of the programs listed).
“Hi, my name is ____________and I am calling from __________ (city/town) to urge Representative/Senator_________ to include the following recommendations on his/her priority list for FY13:
- Teen Pregnancy Prevention (4530-9000): Level fund at $2.38 million. Over half of our top 25 communities with the highest teen birth rates are experiencing increases in this rate. Yet, teen pregnancy prevention has been cut over 40% since FY09. In addition, reductions in teen childbearing saved Massachusetts taxpayers $231 million in one year alone.
- The Young Parent GED Program (Part of 4401-1000): Specify $4 million for YPP to reach additional youth in demand for YPP. Fund the overall account at $15 million. YPP participants who completed their GED in FY11 will save the state $96 million over their lifetimes. (The savings are in the difference in taxes paid versus governmental benefits received by an individual who gets a GED or diploma versus someone who drops out in MA.)
- Teen Living Shelter Program (4403-2119): Fund at $8.3 million to maintain current service levels once rate increases take effect. TLP demand steadily surpasses capacity. Yet, TLP has been cut since FY09 while other family shelter has been protected. Young families need TLP to stay in school and regain steady employment.
- Teen Parent Child Care (part of 3000-4050 and 3000-4060): Level fund accounts at $132.5 and $232.9 million respectively. Ensure teen parents in high school or a GED program can access child care.
- Young Parent Support Program (Part of 4800-0038): Level fund. Specify $2 million for YPS and $242.8 million overall. YPS provides clinical counseling to enable young parents with mental health issues or histories of trauma to gain stability and avoid DCF involvement.
- Healthy Families (part of 3000-7000): Level fund at $10.5 million.
-end of script-
 O’Keefe, Cohen, & Nyberg (2011). Massachusetts Births 2009. MA Department of Public Health. Boston, MA.
 National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unintended Pregnancy (2011). Counting It Up: The Public Costs of Teen Childbearing in Massachusetts in 2008. Washington, D.C.
 Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University (2011) The Fiscal Returns to Completing High School and Additional Years of Schooling Beyond High School in the U.S. and Massachusetts. Powerpoint. The mean lifetime net fiscal savings in the taxes paid of an individual who graduates or attains a GED versus the costs of governmental benefits received and incarceration of an individual who drops out in Massachusetts is $467,023. When this statistic is applied to the 205 youth who attained their GED or High School Diploma through the YPP program in FY2011, the lifetime savings is $96 M.