Take Action to Support Teen Parents in Dropout Prevention Legislation

We’ve got to kick up the pressure on policymakers to get dropout prevention legislation passed this session! Policymakers only have until the end of June to pass new legislation. See below for how to take action now.

There are two dropout prevention bills in play (Senator Chang-Diaz’s S.2173 and Rep. Marty Walz’s H.1964). Our goal is for the legislature to pass a combined version of the two bills this session and that the final bill include explicit provisions for expectant and parenting students.

Below are brief descriptions of what each bill includes. Click here to view Senator Chang Diaz’s entire bill and click here to view Representative Marty Walz’s entire bill.

Senator Chang-Diaz’s Bill would:

  1. Raise the required school attendance age to 18 years old by September 1, 2014
  2. Initiate new parent engagement, absence notification and exit interview policies
  3. Create new school suspension and expulsion policies to improve support for suspended and expelled youth
  4. Improve data collection and reporting
  5. Create a new category in Chapter 70 for funding for at risk students
  6. Create the Massachusetts Graduation Coach Initiative

 Representative Marty Walz’s Bill would:

  1. Raise the required school attendance age to 18 years old by September 1, 2014
  2. Support expectant and parenting students to graduate: requires districts to develop expectant and parenting student policies, requires schools to hire expectant and parenting student coaches who would help students stay on track to graduate and connect with necessary academic and social supports, requires coaches to track parenting student graduation and dropout rates, and ensures access to child care for parenting students
  3. Initiate parent absence notification, assignment make up and exit interview policies
  4. Initiate school-wide education service plans for students suspended more than 10 days
  5. Initiate dropout reduction plans for districts with an annual dropout rate greater than 2%

TAKE ACTION:

Email and/or call your legislators ASAP. Ask them to write a letter to leadership in support of passing dropout prevention legislation that includes explicit provisions for expectant and parenting students:

  • You can find your legislators’ contact information here.
  • Use the scripts below for your calls/emails. Please note that there is a different script for Representatives than there is for Senators.
  • You can send this letter to your Senator for him/her to use as a guide for the letter he/she writes to Chairman Brewer; send this letter to your Representative for his/her letter to Chairman Dempsey.

SCRIPT FOR SENATORS

Hi, I am __________from ________(city/town). I am (emailing/calling) to urge Senator___________to write a letter to Chairman Brewer (of the Senate Ways and Means Committee) recommending that dropout prevention legislation be prioritized this session and that it include explicit provisions for expectant and parenting students. Can you please call/email me back to let me know if the Senator has sent the letter? (Provide your phone #/email.)Thank you.

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SCRIPT FOR REPRESENTATIVES

Hi, I am __________from ________ (city/town). I am (emailing/calling) to urge Representative ___________to write a letter to Chairman Dempsey (of the House Ways and Means Committee) recommending that dropout prevention legislation be prioritized this session and that it include explicit provisions for expectant and parenting students. Can you please call/email me back to let me know if the Rep. has sent the letter?(Provide your phone #/email.)Thank you.

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