#TexasIsReady to change our sex education curriculum for the first time in 22-years.
Dallas, Texas, Mar. 3, 2020 – Today, three Texas non-profit organizations — North Texas Alliance to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy in Teens (Ntarupt), Healthy Futures of Texas, and the Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy announce the launch of a statewide campaign to improve sex education curriculum standards. The campaign offers a new online resource page at www.texasisready.org with downloadable materials and ways to contact your elected officials. Texas Is Ready is part of a grassroots advocacy effort to encourage the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) to expand the state’s sexual health education curriculum minimum standards, which have not been revised in 22 years.
Evidence-based sex education can help youth build positive relationship skills, avoid unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, stay healthy and plan thoughtfully for the many opportunities and responsibilities in their futures.
“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 to improve sex education curriculum standards for Texas youth,” said Terry Greenberg, CEO of Ntarupt. “The ‘Texas Is Ready’ campaign allows us to raise the collective voices of teens, parents, state legislators, high school principals and more, to know that we are all part of the solution. Together, we can make sure our students get access to the information they need to lead healthy lives.”
A baby is born to a teen parent once every 21 minutes in Texas. Though teen births are on the decline nationwide, Texas has the 9th highest teen birth rate in the US, with about 2.5 percent of Texas teens ages 15-19 having a baby in 2018. Dallas county teen birth rates are 15% higher than the state average. Texas also has the highest rate of repeat teen pregnancy in the nation – 19% of teen births are to mothers who already have at least one child. And while teen births are falling, cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea have increased by 25% in the last decade among Texas youth aged 15-24.
Texas does not currently require school districts to offer health education at the high school level, but districts that choose to include sex education components within their health curriculum must follow minimum standards set by the SBOE, known as the “Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills,” or TEKS standards. School districts can choose to go beyond the TEKS in selecting curricula, but only 16% of school districts in Texas voluntarily teach “abstinence-plus” sex ed. The remainder teach abstinence-only curricula, or no sex education at all.
Texas residents can view our Texas Is Ready website and download resources to contact their representatives and amplify the call for high-quality sex education at www.texasisready.org.
Texas is Ready (www.texasisready.org) is a non-profit campaign committed to facilitating the quality, medically accurate and inclusive sex education that young people in Texas deserve.
North Texas Alliance to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy in Teens (Ntarupt) (www.ntarupt.org) is the sole organization in North Texas committed to bringing together community resources for both parents and teens with a focus on teen pregnancy prevention and sexual and reproductive health, which it has been doing since its inception in 2014. “Talk About It Dallas” is an online resource from Ntarupt with funding provided by The City of Dallas, The United Way Ground Floor, and various private and public donations.
Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (www.txcampaign.org) is a statewide nonpartisan organization working to reduce teen pregnancy through research, advocacy, collaboration and training.
Healthy Futures of Texas (www.hf-tx.org) has worked to reduce unplanned and teen pregnancies through science-based education and advocacy efforts that empower young people, women, and families to make the best decisions for their futures.
EJP Marketing Co.