Arkansas State Profile Fiscal Year 2009
Sexuality Education Law and Policy | Recent Legislation | Youth Statistical Information of Note | Sexual Health Statistics | Comprehensive Approaches to Sex Education| Federal Funding of Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs | Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Curricula Used by Grantees | Federal Funding for Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs in FY 09 | Adolescent Health Contact | Organizations that Support Comprehensive Sexuality Education | Organizations that Oppose Comprehensive Sexuality Education | Local Newspapers | Political Blogs | References
Arkansas law does not require schools to teach sexuality education or sexually transmitted disease (STD)/HIV education. If a school offers sexuality or STD/HIV education, it must stress abstinence, as “it is the policy of the State of Arkansas to discourage … sexual activity by students.” Furthermore, every public school sex education and HIV/AIDS-prevention education program must “emphasize premarital abstinence as the only sure means of avoiding pregnancy and the sexual contraction of acquired immune deficiency syndrome and other sexually transmitted diseases.”
In order to be accredited by the Arkansas Board of Education, public schools must offer health and safety education, and students are required to complete one-half unit of health and safety in order to graduate high school. Arkansas maintains curriculum standards for physical and health education which address STDs and HIV beginning in grade five. The standards stress the importance of abstinence as well as the possible physical, emotional, and social consequences of sexual activity. Specific course content is left to the discretion of the local school districts.
Local school boards are empowered to establish school-based health clinics, which may provide sexuality education. Such education must include instruction on abstinence. School-based health clinics may also prescribe and distribute contraceptives with written parental consent; however, no state funds may be used to purchase condoms or contraceptives. Whether or not a school-based health clinic teaches sexuality education or distributes contraceptives is left to the discretion of the school board. Clinics must not provide abortion referrals.
Arkansas does not require parental permission for students to participate in sexuality or HIV/AIDS education nor does it say whether parents or guardians may remove their children from such classes.
See Arkansas Code § 6-18-703, the Arkansas Department of Education Rules Governing Standards for Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools and School Districts,the K–8 Physical Education and Health Curriculum Framework, and the Health and Safety Curriculum Framework for grades nine through 12.
SIECUS is not aware of any proposed legislation regarding sexuality education in Arkansas.
Arkansas’s Youth: Statistical Information of Note
Teen Pregnancy, Birth, and Abortion
HIV and AIDS
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
SIECUS is not aware of any examples of model programs, policies, or best practices being implemented in Arkansas public schools that provide a more comprehensive approach to sex education for young people.
We encourage you to submit any updated or additional information on comprehensive approaches to sex education being implemented in Arkansas public schools for inclusion in future publications of the SIECUS State Profiles. Please visit SIECUS’ “Contact Us” webpage at www.siecus.org to share information. Select “state policy” as the subject heading.
The Department of Health and community-based organizations in Arkansas received $3,157,291 in federal funds for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in Fiscal Year 2009.
Title V Abstinence-Only-Until Marriage Funding
Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) Funding
Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA) Funding
Some abstinence-only-until-marriage grantees in Arkansas use commercially available curricula. These include, but are not limited to:
To read reviews of abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula commonly used by federal grantees please visit the “Curricula and Speaker Reviews” webpage of SIECUS’ Community Action Kit at www.communityactionkit.org.
Federal Funding for Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs in FY 2009
Adolescent Health Contact
Sheila R. Foster
Abstinence Education Coordinator
Child & Adolescent Health Section
P.O. Box 1437, Slot H17
Little Rock, AR 72203
Phone: (501) 280-4751
 Ark. Code § 6-18-703(d), <http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/ArkansasCode/6/6-18-703.htm>.
 Ark. Code § 6-18-703(a)(3).
 Ark. Code § 6-18-703(c)(1).
 Ark. Code § 6-18-703(a)(3).
 Ibid., Table 3.2.
 Joyce A. Martin, et. al, “Births: Final Data for 2006,” National Vital Statistics Reports, vol. 57, number 7 (Hyattsville, MD: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 January 2009), accessed 5 March 2010, <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_07.pdf>, Table B.
 Ibid., Table 12.
 Martin, et. al, “Births: Final Data for 2006,” 4.
 Guttmacher Institute, Table 3.2.
 U.S. Teenage Pregnancies, Births, and Abortions: National and State Trends and Trends by Race and Ethnicity, Table 3.5.
 “Cases of HIV Infection and AIDS in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2007,” HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, vol. 19, (Atlanta, GA:Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, February 2009), accessed 5 March 2010, <http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/reports/2007report/pdf/2007SurveillanceReport.pdf> , Table 18.
 Slide 6: “Estimated Numbers of HIV/AIDS Cases among Adolescents 13 to 19 Years of Age, 2007—34 States,” HIV/AIDS Surveillance in Adolescents and Young Adults (through 2007), (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 2009), accessed 25 March 2010, <http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/slides/adolescents/index.htm>.
 Ibid.; “AIDS Case Rate per 100,000 Population, All Ages, 2007,” (Menlo Park, CA: Kaiser Family Foundation), accessed 5 March 2010, <http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparetable.jsp?ind=513&cat=11&sub=120&yr=62&typ=1&sort=a>.
 Ibid., Table 16.
 Slide 15: “Reported AIDS Cases among Adolescents 13 to 19 Years of Age, 2007—United States and Dependent Areas,” HIV/AIDS Surveillance in Adolescents and Young Adults (through 2007), (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 2009), accessed 25 March 2010, <http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/slides/adolescents/index.htm>.
 “Wonder Database: Selected STDs by Age, Race/Ethnicity, and Gender, 1996-2008 Results,” (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 June 2009), accessed 5 March 2010, <http://wonder.cdc.gov/>; see also Table 10: “Chlamydia: Reported Cases and Rates Per 100,000 Population by Age Group and Sex: United States, 2004–2008,” Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2008, (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of STD Prevention, November 2009), accessed 5 March 2010, <http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats08/surv2008-Complete.pdf>, 95.
 Ibid; see also Table 20: “Gonorrhea—Reported Cases and Rates per 100,000 Population by Age Group and Sex: United States, 2004–2008,” Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2008,106.
 Ibid; see also Table 33: “Primary and Secondary Syphilis—Reported Cases and Rates per 100,000 Population by Age Group and Sex: United States, 2004–2008,” Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2008, 121.
 This refers to the federal government’s fiscal year, which begins on October 1st and ends on September 30th. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, Fiscal Year 2009 began on October 1, 2008 and ended on September 30, 2009.
 Through the Fiscal Year 2010 appropriations process, Congress eliminated all discretionary funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, including the entire CBAE program and the abstinence-only-until-marriage portion of AFLA. The grant years listed in the chart reflect the years for which funding was originally approved; however, the grants effectively ended in Fiscal Year 2009.
 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.