At the Last Minute, Texas Spikes Federal Sex Education Funding ... Again

Categories: Politics

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Condoms, birth control -- who needs 'em? Just don't have sex, Texas says to its horny teens. Just hobble that unbridled desire coupled with a limited understanding of consequences and say 'No, I'm saving myself for marriage.'

That's pretty much the message, maybe paired with an infographic demonstrating where the penis goes. Nah, that's too pornographic.

If you've ever been a teenager, you know it doesn't work. Especially here. Our kids are reproducing like oily, awkward bunnies. We're the third-worst for teen birth rates for girls 15 to 19, and the ever-lovin' worst for total teen births. They're expensive too: Teen moms cost $1 billion a year.

So it's dismaying to see that the state has, once again, chosen to turn its nose up at federal funding for sex ed, choosing instead to believe that our little princesses will not succumb to temptation. According to emails obtained by the Texas Freedom Network, the child support division of the state Office of the Attorney General had, in concert with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a reproductive health specialist at the Baylor College of Medicine, the Texas Education Agency, the state Higher Education Coordinating Board and other nonprofits, prepared an application for the grant, only to have the rug pulled out from under them by Greg Abbott's office.

Says one email from the OAG's child support division to Health and Human Services, "I wanted to let you know, regrettably, that the Texas Attorney General's Office will not be sending an application for the [Personal Responsibility Education Program] funding...we had it ready to go and it was pulled at the last minute."

In an email to the Higher Education Board, the official wrote, "I'm very sorry to have wasted your time and effort on this...it's certainly not the way I wanted to start working with the Higher Ed. Board."

In another, the official describes his office as "a bit miffed," though nowhere in the emails is a reason given for why the OAG would choose to scrap the grant application right before it was to be submitted.

The official heading up the OAG's division of child support services didn't respond as of this posting, but a spokesman for the OAG tells Unfair Park that the funding came with "too many strings attached," and that it was apparently "too cumbersome to be effectively implemented."

But even the Alabama Department of Public Health -- not exactly a liberal bastion -- found a way to use nearly $800,000 to educate its populace on safe sex practices. In Texas, only a couple of school districts and the University of Texas system have taken advantage of the money.

Back in 2010, the Department of State Health Services prepared an application for $4.4 million in sex-ed funding, only to see it tossed. A spokeswoman told the Texas Tribune that the decision was made by the state Health and Human Services executive commissioner, and that "the governor's office was part of that discussion."

Instead, they applied for an abstinence-only grant. Tough to tell if Gov. Rick Perry weighed in this time around, fearing, perhaps, that engaging in real talk with our teens would tarnish his otherwise impeccable Christian conservative credentials in the Republican primary. The OAG spokesman said he was not aware what sort of input Perry had in the decision.


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34 comments
edddoerr
edddoerr

The Texas OAG should be changed to OIG, Office of the Ignoramus General. I guess the Lone Star state ain;t got enough tennage single moms and kids with STDs. Way tuh go, Texas. Whoopee!  --  Edd Doerr

bb
bb

Abstinence only education does work. All these teenage girl pregnancies are the result of Immaculate Conception, not copycat sin.

bb
bb

Abstinence only education works does work. All those teenage girl pregnancies are the result of Immaculate Conceptions. 

Tumama
Tumama

 as long as those babies are black and brown keeping the cycle of poverty and ignorance going who cares....gotta love these conservatives....dont teach protection force child birth and then cut all spending for public assistance...

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

We have several 9th graders on my campus who are going to deliver BEFORE Christmas. Do the math, folks. That means they got pregnant in EIGHTH GRADE!!! 8th grade!!!

Why is it the people who want less government and profess to be Christian are in the same group who refuse to allow the education of what our bodies naturally do? Isn't it God's Will to make all of our children knowledgeable about the Temple their body is? Would they not take better care of it if they understood how it really worked?

If you want to pay less in taxes, help us end --or at least dramatically reduce, teen pregnancies in Texas. Studies show that real education REDUCES pregnancies, lessens rates of STD transmissions, etc...

People, please call the DISD trustee for your area. Ask them for comprehensive sex ed in Dallas. It WILL save money and misery.

Kevin Kirby
Kevin Kirby

And y'all kids best not be touchin' yourselves, either!

Montemalone
Montemalone

If the homosexual agenda had been allowed to flourish, we wouldn't have a problem with teenage pregnancy!

Guest
Guest

Not sure why we'd expect a department whose success is determined by how much money it collects in child support would be interested in lessening the number of potential child support cases it can collect on in the future.

Wonk
Wonk

So OUR kids are reproducing like oily bunnies? WE are the third worst in the nation? AGAIN, BLAME PERRY as primary culprit?Pregnancy rate in Texas for non hispanic white teens is 52 per 1,000 while the rate for hispanic is 131 per 1,000, in line with national trends. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs...That MIGHT be somewhat relevant to the conversation? Just a smidgen?

Accurate Headline Follows:Significant hispanic population contributes to high statewide teen pregnancy rate.

Thus, we again witness The Observer's and VVM's policy on OBSCURING THE TRUTH on realities that run contrary to their underlying agendas.

Your story has become more than a bit tiresome.

 

zobzerto
zobzerto

Ah, the ever-popular "too many strings attached" line. What a shitty, nebulous excuse.

Yeah, let's just close our eyes, put our fingers in our ears and pretend that "abstinence only" programs will keep teenage girls from getting pregnant. That'll work.

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

Because government shouldn't intrude on the rights of teens to get pregnant, just their rights on everything that happens in the next nine months.

TiredHead
TiredHead

Damn. In the spirit of the "Don't Mess with Texas" campaign, the State could have started a "Don't be Silly Wrap your Willie." campaign.

Coleman
Coleman

an "abstinance-only grant?" are you fucking serious? When even Alabama is doing proper sex education, who is Perry actually trying to represent? He already shot himself in the foot with moron christians with the HPV vaccine legislation, what's the point of saying no to this too?

Anna Merlan
Anna Merlan

We also have the highest rate of repeat teen pregnancy in the nation, which I'm sure is a total coincidence. 

Sybils_Beaver
Sybils_Beaver

Teen sex is always a problem, but it a problem I wish I had now.  Ive prolly had more sex in my 4 yrs of high school than I have in my 4 years of marriage.  Teen boys know, get it now, bc you end up married w/o any "p" later in life

John_McKee
John_McKee

All of you shut up, Perry says abstinence only education works so it works, end of story!

Observist
Observist

or illegitimacy, because more people would be getting married!

jfpo
jfpo

Dammit, I hit like instead of reply. I do not like this. So, it's not a problem until it's a white person problem, eh? Nice. Please put your head back in the sand and carry on.

cp
cp

And do you think that MAYBE they might be learning how NOT to get pregnant at home? All the more reason to teach it in school...

Brantley Hargrove
Brantley Hargrove

So what you're saying is that Hispanic teens are somehow less Texan than white teens, and that they should be singled out? I thought a Texan was a Texan.

John_McKee
John_McKee

Sorry, Perry the Pipe is already taken.

Char
Char

Ya and the could get Willie Nelson to sing "on the Pill again, I just can't wait to get on the pill again."

Sybils_Beaver
Sybils_Beaver

thats because once they had sex, the realized they liked it, and they did it again and again.  I knew a guy in HS who only wanted to have sex with the preggers, his thought was "well at least I know I cant get them pregnant"

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

It gets better after divorce...

Lee
Lee

And he is SOOO credible.

Sybils_Beaver
Sybils_Beaver

a texan is a texan if they are a legal resident of the state, otherwise, no they are not texan.  Not defending Wonk, but i do wonder what the preggo rates of hispanic teens that are illegal, or have illegal parents

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