TEXAS IS READY
It’s been two decades since Texas last revised curriculum standards for sex education - but now we’re ready for a change.
In 2020, the State Board of Education (SBOE) will update the basics of sex education in Texas. We need your help to make sure students in Texas get access to the information they need.
The Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, the North Texas Alliance to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy in Teens (Ntarupt), and Healthy Futures of Texas are collaborating on advocacy to improve sex education curriculum standards for Texas youth.
Keep reading to learn how you can get involved, and scroll to the bottom of the page to download the advocacy toolkit.
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Texas is ready to lead in sex ed
Only 16% of school districts in Texas currently teach "abstinence-plus" sex ed. The remainder teach abstinence-only curricula, or no sex educations at all.
(Source: Conspiracy of Silence:
Sexuality Education in Texas Public Schools in 2015-16.)
Every 21 minutes, a baby is born to a teen in Texas.
Texas has the 9th highest teen birth rate and the highest repeat teen birth rate nationwide.
(Source: Texas Campaign analysis of CDC Natality data, 2018.)
Plotting a path forward for Texas youth
How the State Board of Education works
The SBOE is made up of 15 elected officials from across Texas who are responsible for making and revising standards regarding each subject offered in Texas schools.
Texas does not require health education in high school, but many school districts choose to offer elective health classes, which include sex education components. Some districts offer age-appropriate sex ed, like the names of body parts or skills for healthy friendships, at younger grades as well.
Districts that choose to teach sex education must follow minimum curriculum standards set by the SBOE: Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS. These represent the minimum standards associated with courses in Texas. School districts can choose to go above and beyond the TEKS in selecting curricula for their students.
Throughout 2020, the SBOE will revise these Health TEKS for the first time since the 1990s, so this is an incredible opportunity for much-needed improvements.
You can read the current draft TEKS here.
Want more information? Check out this infographic to see the whole SBOE process.
2020 SBOE Meeting Dates*
Nov. 17-20: 2nd reading and final adoption
At this meeting, Members will cast a final vote on the TEKS
*Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the SBOE has implemented public health and safety measures and moved some meetings online. The meetings are still accessible through a livestream, with virtual options for public testimony. For information about the meetings, or how to register and testify, visit the Texas Education Agency's SBOE page.
Who represents me?
The State Board of Education is an elected group that oversees several important functions of Texas’s public education system, including setting minimum curriculum standards and reviewing and adopting instructional materials.
There are currently 10 Republicans and 5 Democrats on the SBOE, each representing about 1.8 million constituents in Texas.
Reaching out directly to your SBOE member can be a powerful way to advocate. Use the link below to find out who represents you and how to contact them.
Email your SBOE member (use this link to find out who represents you) and ask for their support in maintaining abstinence-plus standards in the updated draft on contraception, STI prevention, and other key topics. You can also ask them to reinstate consent education and include language that is inclusive of LGBTQ youth.
Share your feedback and comments on the updated TEKS draft with the Texas Education Agency. You can read the document and submit comments here.
Provide testimony at the November 17-20 SBOE hearing. While final meeting logistics have not yet been released, we anticipate that testimony will be conducted virtually. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Young people in Texas deserve quality, accurate sex education
Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)
Young people deserve information about abstinence as well as contraception, STI prevention, and healthy relationships.
Sex ed curriculum should reflect the most recent science and be supported by evidence.
All students deserve to learn in a safe environment that respects their identities and experiences.