Next year, the State Board of Education will revise the state’s public school health curriculum standards for the first time in more than 20 years. A final vote is expected in September 2020. We are telling you about it now because this process will include proposed changes to sex education standards, which always provoke much political controversy and as a result are woefully deficient.
TSTA is a member of a new Teach the Truth Coalition, which will work with the Texas Freedom Network to advocate for the board to adopt a comprehensive and medically accurate sexual education curriculum. These changes are long overdue.
According to a 2017 report from the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund, 83 percent of Texas school districts either taught abstinence-only-until-marriage or nothing at all when it came to sex education. At the same time, about 63 percent (almost two-thirds) of Texas 12th graders said that they had had sex, and 60 percent reported that they did not use a condom the most recent time. Texas also continues to have one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the country.
The Teach the Truth Coalition’s recommended changes in the sex education curriculum focus on four key topics: (1) contraception and STI prevention; (2) comprehensive reproductive health care; (3) sexual orientation and gender identity and expression; and (4) consent and sexual violence prevention.
The full report can be found here. We will provide updates on the coalition’s activities as our campaign to educate and mobilize the public on this crucial issue progresses. Watch for and use these hashtags: