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Introduced Version House Concurrent Resolution 132 History

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HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 132

(By Delegates Brown, Guthrie, Hatfield, Mahan, Lawrence, Marshall, Fleischauer and Poore)

 

 

Requesting the Committee on Government and Finance to study the feasibility of developing a state pilot program for school age expectant mothers.

    Whereas, Teenage pregnancy rates have been on the decline nationwide except in the State of West Virginia where, according to the latest statistics, the teen birth rate among fifteen to seventeen year olds increased by seventeen percent between 2007 and 2009; and

    Whereas, Research shows that without intervention, twenty-five percent of pregnant teenage mothers will have a subsequent pregnancy within two years; and

    Whereas, Teenage pregnancy is the leading cause of school drop out for adolescent women, has been shown to increase poverty and to start a downward spiral of events that can affect the mother and child for the rest of their lives; and

    Whereas, In 2008, the State of West Virginia spent $67 million dollars on services related to teen childbearing; and

    Whereas, Programs provided to teenage expectant mothers in other states, in particular in the State of Kentucky, have resulted in higher graduation rates, higher college acceptance rates, lower subsequent pregnancies, greater self-esteem of the program participants, improved parenting skills, increased knowledge and increased job skills; and

    Whereas, With increased services, expectant teenagers and teen mothers can complete high school and reduce the high school drop out rate, obtain a rewarding career or college degree, delay subsequent pregnancies and deliver babies at healthy birth rates who attain developmentally appropriate milestones; and

    Whereas, Services contemplated has the potential of saving the State of West Virginia $15 million annually; and

    Whereas, Required components of the pilot program include, but are not limited to:

    (1) Countywide transportation for students and their newborn infants during the pregnancy and for not more than one year after the birth of the infant;

    (2) Day care services for the infants, on site, during the school day;

    (3) Onsite obstetrical, pediatric and family planning health services;

    (4) On site prenatal, parenting and family planning education for teenage parents including instruction in the stages of child growth and development, methods for aiding in the intellectual, language, physical and social development of children and guidance on constructive play activities;

    (5) Onsite therapeutic support group with oversight and leadership by a qualified clinical professional;

    (6) An exemption from minimum attendance requirements for absences related to pregnancy or parenting except that student participants shall be required to make up all course work due to absence;

    (7) Flexible scheduling to assure success in the pilot program in addition to meeting all requirements for graduation; and

    (8) A minimum teacher student ratio; therefore, be it

    Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:              

    That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to study the feasibility of establishing a pilot program for expectant teenage mothers as outlined in this resolution; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance include representatives of the Department of Education; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the Legislature, on the first day of the regular session, 2013, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.

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