Representative Nydia Velazquez recently introduced, H.R.4034, the Mentor-Mentee Teen Pregnancy Reduction Act of 2012, which would amend Title V of the Social Security Act (The Maternal and Child Health Block Grant) to provide grants for school-based mentoring programs for at risk teenage girls to prevent and reduce teen pregnancy, and to provide student loan forgiveness for mentors participating in such programs. Under this legislation, funding would begin in FY 2013, with priority being given to programs in States that have elected not to receive an allotment under section 510 (abstinence education) for the fiscal year. Grants to reduce or prevent pregnancy would only be available to local education agencies and community based organizations. In addition, this bill would provide funding for programs to assume the obligation to repay Federal student loans for individuals who meet certain qualifications. The total amount of loan forgiveness may not exceed $20,000 for an individual.
This year President Obama requested $640 million in his FY 2013 Budget for Title V, which is an increase of $1.4 million from the FY 2012. Title V is the only Federal program that focuses solely on improving the health of all mothers, adolescents and children, whether insured or not, through a broad array of public health and community-based programs that are designed and carried out through well-established Federal/State partnerships.