Evergreen High School teacher Peggy McNabb didn’t need a study to know the class she teaches to teen parents is a success. After all, she hears from students who have gone on to graduate, gone to college and live successfully every week.
But the validation doesn’t hurt.
McNabb is a GRADS teacher for Evergreen Public Schools. The Graduation, Reality and Dual Role Skills program serves teen moms and expecting parents. New data on the program from a Washington State Institute for Public Policy study indicates the state’s investment in the program is paying off. GRADS students graduate at a 10.6 percent higher rate than their fellow teen parents by age 22, and have a 6.5 percent higher rate of pursuing post-secondary education by age 24.
“We’re very thankful this study was done,” McNabb said as her students played with their babies at the high school’s neighboring day care center.
McNabb’s class is all girls this year, although teen dads and expecting fathers are also eligible to participate.
The institute also estimates that while the average per-student cost for teen parents to access GRADS is about $7,588, students receive about $22,839 in benefits. That’s a benefit-cost ratio of $3 to $1.