May 1, 2017
To arrange an interview with Ascend, contact Christine Eckley
at 202-248-5420 or ceckley@WeAscend.org.
For Immediate Release:
Congress Set to Give 50% Funding Increase to Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) Education
Today, Congress released a bipartisan funding bill that will keep the federal government open through September 30, 2017, the remainder of the fiscal year.
The massive bill includes a 50% increase to funding for the Sexual Risk Avoidance Education (SRAE) program. The increase from $10 million to $15 million signifies a small, but significant, increase, especially given the fact that the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program received no funding increase.
“We are happy to see a growing consensus among members of Congress in seeing the importance of giving youth the information and skills to avoid the risks associated with teen sex. We especially appreciate the leadership of Appropriations LHHS House chairman, Tom Cole, and Senate chairman, Roy Blunt. Ascend is grateful that these key congressional leaders are placing a meaningful emphasis on the health of our youth,“ remarks Valerie Huber, President/CEO of Ascend.
Congress is on the right side of research and science with today’s sex education funding recommendation.
- Research shows that waiting for sex resonates with teens, since most teens are not having sex, far fewer than 25 years ago.
- Most Americans favor more funding for SRA education.
- The CDC considers teen sex to be a youth risk behavior, so it makes sense that we give teens the skills to avoid that risk.
America’s sex education policy should reinforce the healthy decisions of the majority, while also providing help to those making unhealthy decisions by giving them the skills to return to a risk-free status. In this way, SRA education, resonates with those who have never had sex, as well as those who are sexually experienced.
Most Americans favor at least funding parity for SRA education. Today’s increase moves sex education funding one step closer to the parity goal. However, there is still considerable work to do, since even with the increase, almost 90 cents out of every dollar goes to SRR education.
“We are optimistic that the FY 2018 spending bill will continue this positive momentum and every indication suggests that this will be the case. Today’s news means that more youth can receive SRA education in 2017. We are encouraged that this news signals even greater gains to be made on this important issue,” adds Huber.
Ascend champions youth to make healthy decisions in relationships and life by promoting well being through a primary prevention strategy, and as a national membership and advocacy organization that serves, leads, represents and equips the Sexual Risk Avoidance field.