More than $1B to help students overcome ‘stigma’ of sex ed
Posted On July 12, 2021
A $1 billion program aimed at making sex ed accessible to the world’s youngest children could lead to a surge in the number of Americans using the services of sexual education specialists.
On Thursday, the Education Department said it had received nearly 6,000 applications for funding to create new and existing partnerships with sexual education experts to provide services for young people.
“It’s the best of both worlds,” said Michael E. Sullivan, deputy assistant secretary for policy at the department.
“The money that is going to be available to help young people has a lot of impact on what we see as the next generation.”
The initiative will be led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and will focus on a broad range of health and human services and education services.
The $1.3 billion in funding is being provided to fund about 70 partnerships that include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U, United States Public Health Service, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the American Institute of HIV Medicine, and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
The Department of Education will partner with local educational and health care organizations to provide training and technical support.
It also will partner directly with local colleges and universities to provide materials and support for students to access.
The initiative comes as more states grapple with the stigma of sex education.
Last month, New Jersey enacted a bill requiring all students who attend private or charter schools to complete sex ed before entering school.
Earlier this month, the Texas legislature passed a bill to make sexual education mandatory for all public schools, including in public schools.
The Trump administration has repeatedly said it is committed to making sex education accessible to children, and a number of federal and state agencies have pledged to invest in the effort.
But Sullivan said that the money will also help the government build partnerships that are specifically geared to the needs of children.
One of the most promising partnerships could be with the Center for Sex Education at Emory University.
The center is one of the largest sex education providers in the country, and has been working to expand its services to more underserved populations, including children who are HIV-positive.
Emory is partnering with the Education and Human Development Departments to create an interdisciplinary education program for students who are low-income.
It is one example of how the Department of Justice is using a variety of federal funds to improve the lives of children and young people, Sullivan said.
To find out more about the Department’s effort, visit: www.education.gov/sexeducation-programs