Students who are expecting a child or parenting a child have rights under New Mexico and federal law. For information about expecting and parenting student’s, their rights and programs in New Mexico, check out our report: Expecting and Parenting Students in New Mexico and our fact sheet Making Education Work for Expectant and Parenting Students.
In 2013, SWLC joined a coalition of organizations, including Young Women United, ACLU of NM, NM GRADS, and Strong Families NM to advocate for the passage of a bill protecting the Title IX rights of pregnant and parenting students to attend and complete their schooling. On April 5, 2013, Governor Susana Martinez has signed HB 300, establishing policies that provide excused absences for pregnant and parenting students. This legislation sets a statewide standard that includes a ten day excused absence for the documented birth of a child, and four excused absences, per semester, when pregnancy or caring for a child necessitates missing class. Responsible young parents who use this policy will be required to document all absences and complete makeup work in a timely manner.
The Southwest Women’s Law Center has conducted an audit of New Mexico school district’s compliance with the notice requirement of the New Mexico Excuse Absence Policy for Pregnant and Parenting Students. Check out our report, New Mexico Attendance Policy for Expecting and Parenting Students in Action