Report Examines High Dropout Rate of Latina Students
A report released last week by the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) and the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) examines the high dropout rate of Latina high school students. The report found that 41 percent of Latina students do not graduate from high school in four years with a standard diploma, according to a NWLC press release.
Through surveys, focus groups and interviews, the study found that Latina students have high aspirations. A vast majority of the students surveyed said they valued education, with 98 percent desiring to graduate from high school and 80 percent hoping to graduate from college. The study found barriers to these achievements include poverty, immigration status, lack of parental involvement, limited English proficiency and schools with limited resources. Latinas also face the highest teen pregnancy rates of any ethnic group, and, according to the study, this causes many to leave school.
Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President of the NWLC, told Newsday that women without a high school diploma face more challenges than men who do not earn one. Women "face a lifetime of lower earnings and higher rates of unemployment. Children of women who drop out are more likely to drop out themselves, continuing the cycle,"
The report (see PDF) presents recommendations for actions schools and policymakers can take to help Latina students succeed. These recommendations include offering dual language programs for English Language Learners, creating parental involvement initiatives, creating a federal program to support comprehensive sex education, and funding initiatives to support pregnant or parenting students.
Media Resources: National Women's Law Center Press Release 8/27/09; Newsday 8/27/09; NWLC & MALDEF Listening to Latinas 8/27/09
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .