Andy Kim is a former GOVERNING staff writer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Texas has the third highest teenage birthrate in the country. For every 1,000 Texan females age 15 to 19, 63 will be teen mothers. In an effort to lower the state's teenage birthrate, state officials use two programs to teach teens the realities and responsibilities of teen parenting. Parenting and Paternity Awareness (p.a.p.a.) is a 14-session curriculum focusing on topics including the financial challenges of single parenting, the importance of father involvement and the inner workings of child support. High schools receive training on implementing the p.a.p.a. program and use it to fulfill a 2008 mandate in the state's health curriculum requirement. The No Kidding program is a series of presentations where young parents talk about their first-hand experiences as teenage parents. Both programs were developed with help from the Texas Attorney General's Child Support Division.