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Arkansas State Profile Fiscal Year 2010

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Sexuality Education Law and Policy | Recent Legislation | Youth Sexual Health Data | Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative | Personal Responsibility Education Program | Title V Abstinence-Only Program | TPPI, PREP, and Title V Abstinence-Only Funding in FY 2010 | Comprehensive Approaches to Sex Education | Points of Contact | Organizations that Support Comprehensive Sexuality Education Organizations that Oppose Comprehensive Sexuality Education | Media Outlets | References

 
Arkansas
 
In Fiscal Year 2010[1], the state of Arkansas received:
  • Personal Responsibility Education Program funds totaling $485,372
  • Title V State Abstinence Education Program funds totaling $619,862
 
 
Sexuality Education Law and Policy
Arkansaslaw 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.”[2] 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.”[3]
 
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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]
 
Arkansasdoes 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.
 
 
 
 
 
Recent Legislation
 
SIECUS is not aware of any proposed legislation regarding sexuality education in Arkansas.
 
 
 
Youth Sexual Health Data
SIECUS has compiled the following data to provide an overview of adolescent sexual health in Arkansas. The data collected represents the most current information available.
 
Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) Data[7]
  • In 2009, 51% of female high school students and 56% of male high school students in Arkansas reported ever having had sexual intercourse compared to 46% of female high school students and 46% of male high school students nationwide.
 
  • In 2009, 7% of female high school students and 14% of male high school students in Arkansas reported having had sexual intercourse before age 13 compared to 3% of female high school students and 8% of male high school students nationwide.
 
  • In 2009, 16% of female high school students and 21% of male high school students in Arkansas reported having had four or more lifetime sexual partners compared to 11% of female high school students and 16% of male high school students nationwide.
 
  • In 2009, 40% of female high school students and 38% of male high school students in Arkansas reported being currently sexually active (defined as having had sexual intercourse in the three months prior to the survey) compared to 36% of female high school students and 33% of male high school students nationwide.
 
  • In 2009, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 47% of females and 72% of males in Arkansas reported having used condoms the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 54% of females and 69% of males nationwide.
 
  • In 2009, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 23% of females and 16% of males in Arkansas reported having used birth control pills the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 23% of females and 16% of males nationwide.
 
  • In 2009, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 20% of females and 21% of males in Arkansas reported having used alcohol or drugs the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 17% of females and 26% of males nationwide.
 
  • In 2009, 82% of high school students in Arkansas reported having been taught about AIDS/HIV in school compared to 87% of high school students nationwide.
 
Teen Pregnancy, Birth, and Abortion
  • Arkansas’s teen birth rate currently ranks 4th in the United States, based on the most recent data available, with a rate of 61.8 births per 1,000 young women ages 15–19 compared to the national rate of 41.5 births per 1,000.[8] In 2008, there were a total of 4,855 live births reported to young women ages 15–19 in Arkansas.[9]
 
  • In 2005, Arkansas’s teen pregnancy rate ranked 8th in the United States, with a rate of 80 pregnancies per 1,000 young women ages 15–19 compared to the national rate of 70 pregnancies per 1,000.[10] There were a total of 7,670 pregnancies among young women ages 15–19 in Arkansas.[11]
 
  • In 2005, Arkansas’s teen abortion rate ranked 45th in the United States, with a rate of 9 abortions per 1,000 young women ages 15–19 compared to the national rate of 19 abortions per 1,000 [12]
 
HIV and AIDS[13]
  • Arkansas’s HIV infection rate ranks 22nd in the United States, with a rate of 9.1 cases per 100,000 individuals compared to the national rate of 19.5 cases per 100,000.[14]
 
  • Arkansas ranks 25th in cases of HIV infection diagnosed in the United States among all age groups. In 2008, there were a total of 261 new cases of HIV infection diagnosed in Arkansas.[15]
 
  • Arkansas’s HIV infection rate among young people ages 13–19 ranks 18th in the United States, with a rate of 6.6 cases per 100,000 young people compared to the national rate of 9.1 cases per 100,000.[16]
 
  • Arkansas ranks 33rd in number of reported AIDS cases in the United States among all age groups. In 2008, there were a total of 151 new AIDS cases reported in Arkansas.[17]
 
  • Arkansas’s AIDS rate ranks 32nd in the United States, with a rate of 5.3 cases per 100,000 individuals compared to the national rate of 12.3 cases per 100,000.[18]
 
  • Arkansas’s AIDS rate among young people ages 13–19 ranks 39th in the United States, with a rate of 0.4 cases per 100,000 young people compared to the national rate of 1.8 cases per 100,000.[19]
 
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Arkansasranks 5th in reported cases of Chlamydia among young people ages 15–19 in the United States, with an infection rate of 27.37 cases per 1,000 compared to the national rate of  19.51 cases per 1,000.  In 2008, there were a total of 5,408 cases of Chlamydia reported among young people ages 15–19 in Arkansas.[20]
 
  • Arkansasranks 7th in reported cases of gonorrhea among young people ages 15–19 in the United States, with an infection rate of 7.57 cases per 1,000 compared to the national rate of 4.52 cases per 1,000.  In 2008, there were a total of 1,496 cases of gonorrhea reported among young people ages 15–19 in Arkansas.[21]
 
  • Arkansasranks 10th in reported cases of primary and secondary syphilis among young people ages 15–19 in the United States, with an infection rate of 0.06 cases per 1,000 compared to the national rate of 0.04 cases per 1,000.  In 2008, there were a total of 11 cases of syphilis reported among young people ages 15–19 in Arkansas.[22]
 
 
 
Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative
The President’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (TPPI) funds medically accurate and age-appropriate programs to reduce teen pregnancy. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) administers the grant program, which totaled $110 million in discretionary funding for Fiscal Year 2010. TPPI consists of two funding tiers that provide grants to local public and private entities. Tier 1 totals $75 million and provides funding for the replication of evidence-based programs proven to prevent unintended teen pregnancy and address underlying behavioral risk factors. Tier 2 totals $25 million and provides funding to develop and test additional models and innovative strategies. A portion of the Tier 2 funds, $15.2 million, was allocated for research and demonstration grants to test innovative approaches, while the remaining funding, $9.8 million, was allocated for grants to support communitywide initiatives. TPPI also dedicates $4.5 million in funding to conduct evaluations of individual programs.
 
TPPI Tier 1: Evidence-Based Programs
The TPPI Tier 1 grant program supports the replication of evidence-based programs proven effective through rigorous evaluation to prevent unintended teen pregnancy, underlying behavioral risk factors, or other associated risk factors.
  • There are no TPPI Tier 1 grantees in Arkansas.
 
TPPI Tier 2: Innovative Approaches
The TPPI Tier 2 grant program supports research and demonstration programs in order to develop, replicate, refine, and test additional models and innovative strategies for preventing teenage pregnancy.
  • There are no TPPI Tier 2 Innovative Approaches grantees in Arkansas.
 
TPPI Tier 2: Communitywide Initiatives
The TPPI Tier 2 grant program also supports communitywide initiatives to reduce rates of teenage pregnancy and births in communities with the highest rates. The program awards grants to national organizations as well as state- and community-based organizations. Funded national partners provide training and technical assistance to local grantees. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) administer the grant program in partnership with OAH.
  • There are no TPPI Tier 2 Communitywide Initiatives grantees in Arkansas.
 
 
 
Personal Responsibility Education Program
The Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) totals $75 million per year for Fiscal Years 2010–2014 and is the first-ever dedicated funding stream for more comprehensive approaches to sexuality education. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF) administers the grant. PREP includes a $55 million state-grant program, $10 million to fund local entities through the Personal Responsibility Education Innovative Strategies (PREIS) Program, $3.5 million for Indian tribes and tribal organizations, and $6.5 million for evaluation, training, and technical assistance. Details on the state-grant program and PREIS are included below. At the time of publication, the funding for tribes and tribal organizations had not yet been awarded.
 
PREP State-Grant Program
The PREP state-grant program supports evidence-based programs that provide young people with medically accurate and age-appropriate information for the prevention of unintended pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The grant program totals $55 million per year and allocates funding to individual states. The grant does not require states to provide matching funds. Funded programs must discuss abstinence and contraception, and place substantial emphasis on both. Programs must also address at least three of the following adulthood preparation subjects: healthy relationships, positive adolescent development, financial literacy, parent-child communication skills, education and employment skills, and healthy life skills.
  • The Arkansas Department of Health received $485,372 in federal PREP funds for Fiscal Year 2010.
  • The department has issued an application announcement for available funds under the state’s PREP grant program. At the time of publication, sub-grantees had not yet been determined.
 
The department of health refused to provide SIECUS with any information about the state’s PREP grant program.
 
Personal Responsibility Education Innovative Strategies (PREIS)
The PREIS Program supports research and demonstration programs to develop, replicate, refine, and test innovative models for preventing unintended teen pregnancy. The Administration for Children and Families administers the grant program in collaboration with OAH and provides a total of $10 million in funding directly to local public and private entities.
  • There are no PREIS grantees in Arkansas.
 
 
 
 
Title V State Abstinence Education Grant Program
The Title V State Abstinence Education Grant Program (Title V Abstinence-Only Program) allocates $50 million per year to states for Fiscal Years 2010–2014. ACF administers the grant program. The Title V Abstinence-Only Program 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. All programs funded by the Title V Abstinence-Only Program must promote abstinence from sexual activity as their exclusive purpose and may provide mentoring, counseling, and adult supervision toward this end. Programs must be medically accurate and age-appropriate and must ensure abstinence is an expected outcome.
  • The Arkansas Department of Health received $619,862 in federal Title V abstinence-only funding for Fiscal Year 2010.
  • The department has issued an application announcement for available funds under the state’s Title V abstinence-only grant program. At the time of publication, sub-grantees had not yet been determined.
 
The department of health refused to provide SIECUS with any information about the state’s Title V Abstinence-Only Program.
 
 
 
Arkansas TPPI, PREP, and Title V Abstinence-Only Funding in FY 2010
Grantee
Award
Fiscal Years
Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP)
PREP State-Grant Program
Arkansas Department of Health (federal grant)
$485,372
2010
TOTAL
$485,372
 
Title V Abstinence Education Grant Program (Title V Abstinence-Only)
Arkansas Department of Health (federal grant)
  $619,862
2010
TOTAL
  $619,862
 
 
GRAND TOTAL
1,105,234
2010
 
 
 
Comprehensive Approaches to Sexuality Education
 
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.
 
 
 
Points of Contact
 
Adolescent Health Contact[23]
Sheila R. Foster
Abstinence Education Coordinator
Child & Adolescent Health Section
P.O. Box1437, Slot H17
Little Rock, AR 72203
Phone: (501) 280-4751
 
 
 
Organizations that Support Comprehensive Sexuality Education
 
ACLU of Arkansas        
Little Rock, AR
Phone: (501) 374-2660
 
Planned Parenthood
Greater Memphis Region
Memphis, TN
Phone: (901) 725-1717
NWA Center for Equality
Fayetteville, AR
Phone: (479) 966-9014
 
 
 
 
Organizations that Oppose Comprehensive Sexuality Education
 
Family Council of Arkansas
Little Rock, AR
Phone: (501) 375-7000
 
Reality Check, Inc.
Lowell, AR
Phone: (479) 631-7885
 
Greater Fellowship Ministries
Pine Bluff, AR
Phone: (870) 850-7447
 
 
Tree of Life Preventative
Health Maintenance
Fort Smith, AR
Phone: (479) 782-3309
 
 
 
Media Outlets
 
Newspapers in Arkansas[24]
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Little Rock, AR
Phone: (501) 378-3568
 
Jonesboro Sun
Jonesboro, AR
Phone: (870) 935-5525
 
The Morning News
Springdale, AR
Phone: (479) 872-5036
 
The Sentinel-Record
Hot Springs National Park, AR
Phone: (501) 623-7711
 
Times Record
Fort Smith, AR
Phone: (479) 785-7748
 
 
           
Political Blogs in Arkansas
Arkansas Blog
 
Street Jazz
 
 
 
 

[1]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 2010 began on October 1, 2009 and ended on September 30, 2010.
[3]Ibid.
[4]Ark. Code § 6-18-703(a)(3). 
[5]Ark. Code § 6-18-703(c)(1).
[6]Ark. Code § 6-18-703(a)(3).
[7]Danice K. Eaton, et. al., “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2009,” Surveillance Summaries, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, vol. 59, no. SS-5 (4 June 2010): 98–109, accessed 4 June 2010, <http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss5905.pdf>. 
[8]“Births: Final Data for 2008,” National Vital Statistics Report, vol. 59, (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, December 2010), accessed 29 June 2011, <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr59/nvsr59_01.pdf>, Table 12.
[9]“VitalStats: Birth Data Files by State, Age of Mother in Years, 2008,” (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), accessed 30 June 2011, <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data_access/vitalstats/VitalStats_Births.htm>.
[10]U.S. Teenage Pregnancies, Births, and Abortions: National and State Trends and Trends by Race and Ethnicity, (Washington, DC: Guttmacher Institute, January 2010), accessed 5 March 2010, <http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/USTPtrends.pdf>, Table 3.1.
[11]Ibid., Table 3.2.
[12]U.S.Teenage Pregnancies, Births, and Abortions: National and State Trends and Trends by Race and Ethnicity, Table 3.3.
[13]This section provides data from 2008, the most recent year for which the CDC has reported HIV/AIDS data for young people ages 13–19. For this reason, all the data presented is from 2008 for the purposes of direct comparison.
[14]HIV Surveillance Report, 2008, (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 2010), accessed 28 June 2011, <http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/surveillance/resources/reports/2008report/pdf/2008SurveillanceReport.pdf>, Table 19.
[15]Ibid.
[16]Slide 9: “Rates of Diagnoses of HIV Infection among Adolescents Aged13–19 Years, 2009—40 States and 5 U.S. Dependent Areas,” HIV Surveillance in Adolescents and Young Adults, (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, July 2011), accessed 27 September 2011, <http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/slides/adolescents/index.htm>.
[17]HIV Surveillance Report, 2008, Table 20.
[18]Ibid.
[19]Slide 18: “Rates of Diagnoses of AIDS Infection among Adolescents Aged13–19 Years, 2009—40 States and 5 U.S. Dependent Areas,” HIV Surveillance in Adolescents and Young Adults, (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, July 2011), accessed 27 September 2011, <http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/slides/adolescents/index.htm>.
[20]“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.
[21]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.
[22]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.
[23]The person listed represents the designated personnel in the state responsible for adolescent reproductive health. 
[24]This section is a list of major newspapers in the state and is by no means exhaustive of local print outlets.
 
National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education