THE BRONX - Bronx students held a rally at Tweed Courthouse Friday to keep high schools for pregnant students open after the Department of Education announced it will shut down the citywide program.

The Program for Pregnant Students has provided an alternate education for expecting high school teens since the 1960s. They DOE said it is closing the four citywide ?P-schools? because they are not serving the students well.

Students in the program said they appreciate the services it offers and are comforted by having other young mothers in the classroom. According to students at the rally, the program offers accessible facilities and resources such as car seats.

The DOE answered complaints by saying there are other youth development services offered to help pregnant teens. It also said it is in the process of improving its 40 LYFE (Living for the Young Family through Education) childcare centers.

DOE spokesperson Debra Wexler said the attendance rate for the P-schools is 48 percent, compared to the citywide rate of 67 percent. Wexler also said less than 10 percent of the students pass the New York State Regents exams.

The department said there are more pregnant students who attend local high schools across the city than attend the special schools.

Bronx teens plan to stage a rally outside Martha Neilson High School Monday, June 11. They said they will continue to fight the closures.