Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Keep Teen-Age Moms in School

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Keep Teen-Age Moms in School

Article excerpt

Obviously hoping to take a campaign issue away from the Republicans, President Bill Clinton has directed states to focus on teen-age welfare mothers. Political motives aside, Mr. Clinton's action is worthwhile and welcome.

In his radio address last Saturday, Mr. Clinton said all states must have programs to keep teen-age mothers in school. To see that teen-age mothers complete high school, Mr. Clinton said states should reduce the welfare benefits of those who do not stay in school. In addition, he wants states to require teen-age mothers to live with their parents or other responsible adults. Twenty-six states already require them to stay in school, and 21 require them to live at home. Illinois does both; Missouri just requires them to live at home. He would also have the states pay bonuses, in the form of an increased benefit, to those who complete high school.

If welfare dependency is going to be reduced, this is the place to start. Study after study has shown that teen-agers who get pregnant and drop out of school are the least likely to find employment and get off welfare and the most likely to have additional children. …

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