Congress Funds Title V Abstinence Education and Contraceptive-centered Grants to States
Last week, Congress passed, and the President signed, health care reform legislation that included two state block grants as a part of mandatory funding. (Mandatory funding is authorized and directly appropriated from the federal budget for the specified amount of time, and is not subject to the annual federal appropriations process.)
- The first block grant reauthorized Title V abstinence education funding for five years (2010-2014). It maintains $50 million per year for states to provide A-H compliant abstinence education to students. Visit this link for legislative language.
- The second block grant began a new funding stream for contraceptive-centered education and abstinence centered education, named Personal Responsibility Education. It creates a $75 million per year funding pot, adding additional funding for “comprehensive” sex education for five years (2010-2014). The programs will also be required to address several other issues to help prepare youth for adulthood including healthy relationships, financial literacy, parent-child communication, and educational and career success. Please note that this block grant to states is in addition to the newly created Teen Pregnancy Prevention block grant proposed in the President’s 2011 budget. Read the legislative language here.
While we do not know the timetable for distribution of these funds to states, Title V expired June 30, 2009. Funds should begin flowing again very soon, provided procedures are expeditiously followed within the US Department of Health and Human Services. ACF will provide oversight for the Personal Responsibility Education, but legislative language does not require that the same be the case for Title V Abstinence Education Programming. NAEA will continue to monitor developments and encourage swift reinstatement of abstinence-centered education funds to the states.
Contact your governor’s office to urge acceptance of Title V Abstinence Education Funds. Call and follow up with a letter to your Governor’s Office. Since two grants are now available for sex education to the states, it is essential that Governors accept Title V funds to assure freedom of choice for sex education among communities in your state.