Oregon ranks second in the country in a new national survey of policies for parenting and pregnant students. Student attendance numbers tell a more complicated story.
The National Women’s Law Center says Oregon has strong policies. Speaking on OPB’s Think Out Loud, Fatima Goss Graves praised Oregon schools for excusing doctors’ visits and offering services for pregnant girls.
"Oregon has the bones – the laws and policies to really be a leader." said Goss Graves.
But pregnancy is moving Oregon teens out of traditional high schools. More than 34 percent of pregnant and parenting students were in alternative programs in 2010-11. That’s compared to just one percent of students, overall.
Alternative schools offer students flexibility. But, the graduation rates tend to be lower than at regular high schools.
Fatima Goss Graves said: “If they are inferior, that’s not OK under Title IX, it’s not OK under Oregon law, and it should be discouraged."
The national study coincides with the 40th anniversary of Title IX.