Today responsible, evidence-based sex education could get a vote on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives. State Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, has filed his Education Works! bill, HB 1624, as an amendment to important fiscal legislation pending in the House.
The amendment, which the Texas Freedom Network supports, would direct school districts that teach sex education to provide evidence-based, age-appropriate, comprehensive information on both contraception and abstinence.
Current state law directs school district that teach sex education to emphasize abstinence, but districts may choose to offer more comprehensive information on responsible pregnancy and disease prevention. But a 2009 TFN Education Fund report showed that more than 94 percent of school districts across the state taught abstinence-only when it comes to sex education. About another 3 percent taught nothing at all. That’s appalling, especially in a state with one of the highest teen birth rates in the nation. In fact, teen childbearing in Texas costs taxpayers about $1 billion annually.
If this common-sense amendment comes to a vote, we will have a chance to see which legislators put the health and future of Texas youth ahead of blind ideology and recognize that abstinence-only policies have been an enormously expensive failure for the state.
We’ll keep you posted.