Tom Green, a spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Human Services, confirmed yesterday afternoon that state health officials did not apply for federal abstinence-only sex education funds made available through the federal health care reform package. Considering that Illinois would have had to fork over scarce state resources to qualify for the discredited Title V grants, it's welcome news. As we wrote last week, the Quinn administration did seek out less restrictive and less costly Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) grants.
That doesn't mean teachers across the state will stop pushing the merits of abstinence during sex ed classes. Indeed, Illinois’ school code requires that health education covers the "social responsibilities of family life, including sexual abstinence until marriage." The Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health -- which is critical of abstinence-only education -- suggests that the state establish (PDF) an oversight body to monitor sexual health education policies and practices. If elected governor, it's hard to imagine GOP gubernatorial nominee Bill Brady, a firm social conservative, supporting such efforts.