Minnesota State Profile Fiscal Year 2008
Minnesota received no federal funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in Fiscal Year 2008.
Sexuality Education Law and Policy | Recent Legislation | Events of Note | Youth Statistical Information of Note | Title V Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Funding | Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) and Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA) Grantees | Federal and State Funding for Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs | Adolescent Health Contact | Organizations that Support Comprehensive Sexuality Education | Organizations that Oppose Comprehensive Sexuality Education | Local Newspapers | References
In 1988, the Minnesota legislature passed a bill requiring school districts to develop and implement a comprehensive HIV/AIDS-prevention and risk-reduction program. In 1999, the law was amended to include instruction on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and “helping students to abstain from sexual activity until marriage.”
While the state has not developed a specific curriculum or set of standards, each school district must have “a comprehensive, technically accurate, and updated curriculum that includes helping students to abstain from sexual activity until marriage” and must target “adolescents, especially those who may be at high risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections and diseases, for prevention efforts.”
Minnesota also requires each school district to:
[H]ave a procedure for a parent, guardian, or an adult student, 18 years of age or older, to review the content of the instructional materials to be provided to a minor child or to an adult student and, if the parent, guardian, or adult student objects to the content, to make reasonable arrangements with school personnel for alternative instruction.
This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
See Minnesota Statutes 120B.20 and 121A.23.
Bill to Mandate Sexuality Education in Schools
House File 615 and Senate File 588, introduced in February 2007, would have allowed school districts to implement age-appropriate, medically accurate, sexuality education programs in kindergarten through grade six, and mandated such education in grades seven through 12. Such sexuality education would have had to take an “abstinence-first approach,” but also include information on contraception when age-appropriate. School districts would have been required to establish procedures for parents and guardians to review all related educational materials, as well as to give parents and guardians the option to remove their children from any or all of the sexuality education instruction. The bills also stated that the department of education could offer services to help school districts craft and implement these programs by creating eight regional training centers. These bills mirror House File 3708 and Senate File 2977 from 2006; however, HF 615 designates specific dollar amounts to be appropriated for these programs from the general fund for certain fiscal years, specifies the dollar amount to be used for establishing training centers, and provides resources for carrying out the activities. House File 615 and SF 588 were referred to the K-12 Finance Division of the House and Senate Committees on Education in April 2008. Both chambers ultimately added this language as provisions to the Education Omnibus bills. Each chamber passed its omnibus bill with the language on sexuality education included. The conference committee reached resolution between the two versions in early May 2008, but the sexuality clause failed to make it into the final version, in part because conference committee members feared Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) would veto the entire bill due to the inclusion of sexuality education.
Emergency Contraception Availability Required for Sexual Assault Victims
Senate Bill 1266, introduced in February 2007, requires hospital emergency rooms to offer and provide emergency contraception, prophylactic antibiotics, and treatment information to victims of sexual assault. The bill was filed on May 4, 2007 as Chapter No. 42 and is now law.
Bill to Mandate Sexuality Education in Schools
House Bill 3708 was introduced in March 2006 and assigned to the House Committee on Education Policy and Reform in March 2007. Senate Bill 2977 was introduced in January 2006 and assigned to the Senate Committee on Education in March 2007. These bills would have allowed sexuality education in grades kindergarten through six and required it in grades seven through 12. These bills were largely the same as HF 615 and SF 588. Neither bill made it out of its committee.
Minnesota did not participate in the 2007 Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance Survey.
· Minnesota was eligible for $488,623 in federal Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage funding in Fiscal Year 2008.
· The Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage grant requires states to provide three state-raised dollars or the equivalent in services for every four federal dollars received. The state match may be provided in part or in full by local groups.
· Minnesota, however, chose not to apply for these funds due to the extraordinary restrictions placed upon how the money must be spent. Therefore, the state does not match funds nor does it have organizations supported by this type of federal money.
The decision not to accept Title V funding was partially a result of Minnesota’s 2003 evaluation of its Title V program, Education Now and Babies Later (ENABL). The evaluation of ENABL, which found that it had reached 45,500 junior high students, involved pre- and post-test surveys with follow-up surveys one year later. While youth did report that the program made them feel more comfortable talking with their parents about sex, the evaluation explains, “There was little impact of the curriculum on youth’s attitudes, sexual intentions, and behaviors after one year.” Evaluators also expressed concern about the “ability of the initiative to reach students and families of color.”
The report found that sexual activity among junior high school participants of the ENABL program at three schools doubled between 2001 and 2002 and that those participants who said they would “probably” have sex during high school almost doubled as well. The evaluation, conducted by Professional Data Analysts and Professional Evaluations Services, concluded that ENABL’s weaknesses were the result of the program constraints rather than the way it was implemented. The evaluators recommended that any further intervention be based on a more comprehensive sexuality education approach.
The evaluation also found that the majority of parents surveyed by the Minnesota ENABL program (77 percent) wanted their children to learn about both abstinence and contraception. In fact, only 20 percent of these Minnesota parents wanted abstinence-only-until-marriage programs to be taught to their children. These results closely mirror the findings of numerous national surveys.
· There are no CBAE or AFLA grantees in Minnesota.
Minnesota did not receive abstinence-only-until-marriage funding in Fiscal Year 2008.
Adolescent Health Contact
Minnesota Department of Health
Division of Community and Family Health
P.O. Box 64882
St. Paul, MN 55164-0882
Phone: (651) 201-3752
Newspapers in Minnesota
 This refers to the federal government’s fiscal year, which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, Fiscal Year 2008 began on October 1, 2007 and ended on September 30, 2008.
 Professional Data Analysts and Professional Evaluation Services, Minnesota Education Now and Babies Later: Evaluation Report 1998-2002 (St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Dept. of Health, Division of Family Health, Maternal and Child Health Section, 2003).
 Sex Education in America: General Public/Parents Survey (Washington, DC: National Public Radio, Kaiser Family Foundation, Kennedy School of Government, 2004), 5.
 SIECUS has identified this person as a state-based contact for information on adolescent health and if applicable, abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.
 This section is a list of major newspapers in your state with contact information for their newsrooms. This list is by no means exhaustive and does not contain the local level newspapers which are integral to getting your message out to your community. SIECUS strongly urges you to follow stories about the issues that concern you on the national, state, and local level by using an internet news alert service such as Google alerts, becoming an avid reader of your local papers, and establishing relationships with reporters who cover your issues. For more information on how to achieve your media goals visit the SIECUS Community Action Kit.