Dems propose federal education grants for pregnant teens

"Achieving a high school diploma is critical to young peoples' ability to succeed in the workforce," said Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), the sponsor of the House bill. "Yet pregnancy and parenting responsibilities significantly increase a student's risk of dropping out of school."

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"Support for pregnant and parenting students can go a long way, and that is why we want to help teenage parents stay in school, go back to school, or graduate from school with the skills to have a meaningful career and take care of their family," said Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), who sponsored the Senate version.

Supporters of the bill say that each year about 750,000 teens get pregnant, and many who are pregnant or who become a young parent drop out of school. The legislation would allow states and local governments to offer financial support to teenage mothers and fathers to let them stay in school.

The bill would have the government spend "such sums as may be necessary" in fiscal 2014 through 2018. It also says the minimum grant to a state is $300,000, and it includes the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories as "states."

Taken together, that would mean a minimum of $85 million would be spent on the program in five years.