Wisconsin State Profile Fiscal Year 2010
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
In Fiscal Year 2010, the state of Wisconsin received:
In Fiscal Year 2010, local entities in Wisconsin received:
Wisconsin state law encourages, but does not require, school boards to provide “age-appropriate instruction in human growth and development” to grades K–12. Such instruction is meant to provide students with “the knowledge, skills, and support necessary to make healthy decisions” throughout the lifespan regarding their sexual behavior. The law specifies that instruction teach “medically accurate information,” defined as information “supported by the weight of research conducted in compliance with accepted scientific methods” and, where appropriate, “published in peer-reviewed journals” and “recognized as accurate by relevant leading professional organizations or agencies such as the “American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, or the American Academy of Pediatrics.”
Such instruction must address the following:
An educational program in human growth and development must also “use instructional methods and materials that do not promote bias against pupils of any race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnic or cultural background or against sexually active pupils or children with disabilities.” If a school board provides instruction in any of these areas, it must “also provide instruction in marriage and parental responsibility.”
The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is authorized to develop a health education program that includes instruction about STDs, including HIV/AIDS. The program also may include instruction on human growth and development; however, state law specifies that participation in this component of the health education program is voluntary and DPI is prohibited from requiring local school boards to use a specific human growth and development curriculum.
The DPI created the Wisconsin School HIV/AIDS Policy Tool Kit in 2003 to “increase the number of Wisconsin schools implementing scientifically and legally based policies and procedures related to HIV/AIDS,” including those for curriculum evaluation and selection. The DPI also produced Human Growth and Development: A Resource Packet to Assist School Districts in Program Development, Implementation and Assessment which provides information on teen sexual behavior, locally developed materials, other curriculum resources, and evaluation tools.
School boards that choose to provide instruction must provide annual notification to parents outlining the curriculum used for their child’s particular grade level. Parents and guardians must be given the opportunity to review all materials related to sexuality education classes. If such classes are offered, school boards must form advisory councils consisting of “parents, teachers, school administrators, pupils, health care professionals, members of the clergy, and other residents of the school district” to review the curricula at least every three years.
Parents or guardians may remove their children from sexuality education classes with a written request to the teacher or principal. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
See Wisconsin Statutes §§ 115.35, 118.01, and 118.019; Wisconsin School HIV/AIDS Policy Tool Kit, and Human Growth and Development: A resource packet to assist school districts in program development, implementation and assessment.
SIECUS is not aware of any proposed legislation regarding sexuality education in Wisconsin.
SIECUS has compiled the following data to provide an overview of adolescent sexual health in Wisconsin. The data collected represents the most current information available.
Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) Data
Teen Pregnancy, Birth, and Abortion
HIV and AIDS
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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) implements 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.
Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Center, $596,723 (2010−2014)
The Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Center (Goodman Community Center) is a non-profit, community resource center located in Madison, Wisconsin. Its mission is to facilitate a community atmosphere; identify and respond to community needs; collaborate with individuals and other agencies to provide help; promote recreational and cultural events; and create and coordinate meeting space, programs, information, and services that reflect the community’s ethnic and economic diversity. Its services include social development for at-risk children, short-term emergency food relief, and assistance with referrals to social services and organizations.
With its TPPI funding, Goodman Community Center implements the “Madison Empowering Responsibility in Teens” (MERIT) program, which targets low-income, predominantly African-American and Latino youth. The MERIT program uses a comprehensive, holistic approach to teen pregnancy-prevention that includes direct education, discussion, and relationship building, in addition to a variety of academic, leadership, community service, and enrichment opportunities for participants. The organization plans to reach approximately 175 youth annually with the program. Goodman Community Center partners with Kennedy Heights Community Center and the Lussier Community Education Center in implementation. MERIT uses two comprehensive sexuality education curricula: Be Proud! Be Responsible! and ¡Cuídate! as well as Making a Difference!, an abstinence-based youth development curriculum.
Be Proud! Be Responsible! is an evidence-based HIV-prevention curriculum originally designed for urban, African-American males ages 13–18. The curriculum seeks to provide young people with the knowledge, motivation, and skills necessary to reduce their risk of HIV, other STDs, and causing unintended pregnancy. It also aims to impact sexual behavior by equipping youth with negotiation, refusal, and condom-use skills. The curriculum uses a “sense-of-community” approach that emphasizes how HIV/AIDS has affected inner-city communities and discusses the importance of protecting the community in order to instill accountability, sexual responsibility, and a sense of pride in participants. Although originally designed for use with small groups of sixto 12 participants, the curriculum has been used with larger groups and is appropriate for both school-based and community-based settings. An evaluation of the program published in the American Journal of Community Psychology found that the intervention reduced the number of female sexual partners participants had as well as the number of non-monogamous female sexual partners (those who were simultaneously involved with other male partners). In addition, the study found that the intervention decreased the frequency of vaginal and heterosexual anal intercourse, and increased condom use among participants.
¡Cuídate! is an evidence-based HIV-prevention curriculum adapted from the evidence-based curriculum, Be Proud! Be Responsible!, and tailored for use with Latino youth ages 13–18. The curriculum provides information about HIV and its transmission, addresses values and beliefs related to HIV and safer sex, and includes activities aimed to increase skills and self-efficacy for condom use, negotiating abstinence, and safer sex. The intervention consists of six, one-hour lessons and is designed for use with small, mixed-gender groups. It draws upon cultural beliefs, such as the importance of family and the responsibility of a man to care for his family, in order to provide messages that resonate with participants. The curriculum consists of educational games, small group discussions, videos, learning exercises, and skill-building activities. An evaluation of the curriculum published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found that it reduced the frequency of sexual intercourse, number of sexual partners, and incidence of unprotected sex, while increasing condom use, among participants.
Making a Difference! is an evidence-based pregnancy-, STD-, and HIV-prevention education curriculum that emphasizes abstinence from sexual activity. Adapted from the evidence-based curriculum, Be Proud! Be Responsible!, Making a Difference! aims to increase participants’ knowledge about HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention as well as their confidence to negotiate sexual pressure and intention to abstain from sex. It is designed for use with African-American, Latino, and white adolescents ages 11–13 and can be implemented in school- or community-based settings. The curriculumincludes interactive activities, small group discussions, and skill-building exercises, including role-plays, aimed to increase comfort and efficacy with practicing abstinence. An evaluation of the curriculum published in the Journal of American Medical Association found that at a three-month follow-up, participants in the program were less likely to report having had sexual intercourse in the three months prior than peers in the control group. Evaluation results also showed that the program helped to delay sexual initiation among program participants who were sexually inexperienced.
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.
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) implement the grant program in partnership with OAH.
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) implements 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 Wisconsin Department of Health Services has contracted with the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Adolescent Health Program to implement the state’s PREP grant. The department will provide funding to six local community-based organizations to implement programming in Beloit, Racine, and Milwaukee. Specifically, sub-grants of $100,000 each will be awarded to three organizations in Milwaukee, two organizations in Racine, and one organization in Beloit. All three cities have high rates of teen birth, STD infection, and school drop-out. Programming will primarily target African-American and Latino youth, runaway and homeless youth, and youth in foster care ages 10–19. Funding will be awarded to community service providers with experience providing programming to the targeted youth populations.
Grantees must implement one of the following programs: ¡Cuídate!, Making Proud Choices!, or Street Smart. (Please see the TPPI Tier 1: Evidence-Based Programs section above for more information on ¡Cuídate!.) All grantees must undergo training in their chosen curriculum. In addition, Wisconsin PREP-funded programs must address the following three adulthood preparation subjects: financial literacy, “educational attainment,” and healthy relationships. The Wisconsin Department of Instruction will provide technical assistance to grantees to implement financial literacy education. Local contractors will also be employed to provide trainings to funded grantees on financial literacy education. Educational attainment instruction will seek to curb school drop-out among participants. And healthy relationships education will address gender-based stereotypes, “how to show caring and affection without having sex,” and “skills to identify and safely end unhealthy relationships” in addition to other topics. Funded programs must use a holistic approach and include interactive activities. In addition, all funded programs must inform youth participants of the availability of Badger Care Family Planning Only Services, public reproductive health services provided by the state.
Making Proud Choices! is an evidence-based STD-, HIV-, and pregnancy-prevention curriculum designed for use with African-American, Latino, and white adolescents ages 11–13. The curriculum aims to help youth understand the poor reasoning and decision making that can lead to STD/HIV infection and/or unintended pregnancy, as well as to increase their confidence, negotiation skills, and self-efficacy in using condoms. The program consists of eight, one-hour sessions and can be implemented in school- or community-based settings. Making Proud Choices! includes interactive and skill-building activities that are designed to “increase comfort with practicing condom use, address concerns about negative effects of practicing safer sex, and build skills in condom use and negotiation.” An evaluation of the program published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that program participants reported more consistent condom use and less unprotected sex as well as a higher frequency of condom use than those in the control group.
Street Smart is an HIV/STD-prevention education program designed for use with runaway and homeless youth ages 11–18. The program aims to equip youth to practice safe sexual behaviors and reduce drug and alcohol use. It consists of eight, skills-based instruction sessions as well as one individual counseling session and a visit to a community-based health care agency. The curriculum teaches such skills as coping and negotiation, assertiveness, problem-solving, decision making, identifying and addressing behavioral risk activities, and reducing harmful behaviors. Interactive activities include role-plays and video production. The program is appropriate for use in community-based settings and can be adapted for use with other at-risk populations.
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. ACF implements the grant program in collaboration with OAH and provides a total of $10 million in funding directly to local public and private entities.
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 implements 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.
SIECUS has identified some examples of model programs, policies, and best practices being implemented in Wisconsin public schools that provide a more comprehensive approach to sex education for young people.
Revised State Sex Education Policy
The Healthy Youth Act, Wisconsin Act 134, was signed into law by Governor Jim Doyle on February 24, 2010. The legislation permits school districts to teach age-appropriate and medically accurate comprehensive sexuality education. The Healthy Youth Act establishes additional requirements for human sexuality instruction than what previously existed under state law and repeals former statute that, among other stipulations, required instruction to stress “abstinence from sexual activity before marriage [as] the most effective way to prevent pregnancy” and STDs, including HIV/AIDS and present abstinence “as the preferred choice of behavior in relationship to all sexual activity for unmarried pupils.”
The revised law emphasizes positive youth development and ensures that students receive complete and accurate information—regarding sexuality, human growth and development, abstinence, and effective prevention methods to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy, STDs, and HIV—and develop the skills necessary to maintain healthy relationships, delay sexual initiation, and practice sexual health behavior and decision making. Furthermore, the law positions Wisconsin to apply for federal funding to support comprehensive approaches for delaying sexual activity, increasing contraceptive use, and otherwise reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy among adolescents.
We encourage you to submit any updated or additional information on comprehensive approaches to sex education being implemented in Wisconsin 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.
Adolescent Health Contact
Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services
One West Wilson Street, Room 531
P.O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53708
Phone: (608) 267-9662
PREP State-Grant Coordinator
PREP Program Coordinator
Medical College of Wisconsin
Milwaukee Adolescent Health Program
Downtown Health Center
1020 North 12th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233
Phone: (414) 277-8905
Newspapers in Wisconsin
Political Blogs in Wisconsin
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.
Wis. Stat § 118.01(1).
Wis. Stat § 118.01(2)(b)1–3.
Wis. Stat § 118.019(2)(a)1–9.
Wis. Stat § 118.019(2)(b).
Wis. Stat § 118.019(2m)(a).
Wis. Stat. § 115.35(1), <http://nxt.legis.state.wi.us/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm&d=stats&jd=115.35>.
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>. Note: Milwaukee also participated in the 2009 YRBS.
“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.
“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>.
Ibid., Table 3.2.
U.S. Teenage Pregnancies, Births, and Abortions: National and State Trends and Trends by Race and Ethnicity, Table 3.3.
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.
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>.
HIV Surveillance Report, 2008, Table 20.
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>.
“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.
“Mission & Goals,” Goodman Community Center, accessed 15 June 2011, <http://www.goodmancenter.org/about-center/mission-goals>.
Science and Success: Sex Education and Other Programs That Work to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, HIV & Sexually Transmitted Infections (Washington, DC: Advocates for Youth, 2008), accessed 1 July 2011, <http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/storage/advfy/documents/sciencesuccess.pdf>, 56–59.
“Be Proud! Be Responsible!” Evidence-Based Programs, Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (ReCAPP), ETR Associates, accessed 1 July 2011, <http://www.etr.org/recapp/index.cfm?fuseaction=pages.ebpDetail&PageID=1&PageTypeID=2>; see also “Pregnancy Prevention Intervention Implementation Report: Be Proud! Be Responsible!” Programs for Replication – Intervention Implementation Reports, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, accessed 1 July 2011, <http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/prevention/research/programs/be_proud_responsible.html>.
Science and Success: Sex Education and Other Programs That Work to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, HIV & Sexually Transmitted Infections, 56–59.
“Cuidate!” Evidence-Based Programs, Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (ReCAPP), ETR Associates, accessed 5 May 2010, <http://www.etr.org/recapp/index.cfm?fuseaction=pages.ebpDetail&PageID=577&PageTypeID=2>; see also Science and Success: Sex Education and Other Programs That Work to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, HIV & Sexually Transmitted Infections, Second Edition(Washington, DC: Advocates for Youth, 2008), accessed 30 March 2010, <http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/storage/advfy/documents/sciencesuccess.pdf>, 76–79.
“Making a Difference!” Evidence-Based Programs, Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (ReCAPP), ETR Associates, accessed 1 July 2011, <http://www.etr.org/recapp/index.cfm?fuseaction=pages.ebpDetail&PageID=127&PageTypeID=2>.
“Request for Applications – Personal Responsibility Education Program Grant,” Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Adolescent Health Program, accessed 24 August 2011, <http://www.mcw.edu/FileLibrary/Groups/PedsAdolescentMedicine/MAHP/PREPRFA.pdf>, 2–4; see also “Funding Opportunity: Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) Grant,” Medical College of Wisconsin, accessed 24 August 2011, <http://www.mcw.edu/mahp/FundingOpportunity.htm>.
“Making Proud Choices!” Evidence-Based Programs, Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (ReCAPP), ETR Associates, accessed 15 April 2010, <http://www.etr.org/recapp/index.cfm?fuseaction=pages.ebpDetail&PageID=128>.
“Request for Applications – Personal Responsibility Education Program Grant,” Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Adolescent Health Program, accessed 24 August 2011, <http://www.mcw.edu/FileLibrary/Groups/PedsAdolescentMedicine/MAHP/PREPRFA.pdf>, 4.
This is by no means a complete list of all comprehensive programming and policies related to sexuality education, but rather some examples of best practices and model programs that SIECUS identified.
Previous Wis. Stat § 118.019(2m)(b)(2) and (1).
The person listed represents the designated personnel in the state responsible for adolescent reproductive health.