Senators Coram and Todd, bill sponsors, presented House Bill 19-1032 and distributed a handout (Attachment A). The bill makes changes to state law related to comprehensive human sexuality education instruction and the associated grant program. The bill also modifies definitions of comprehensive human sexuality education, adds definitions of consent and human sexuality instruction.
Under current law, if a public school offers a comprehensive human sexuality curriculum, the curriculum must meet certain requirements. The bill adds additional content requirements related to:
- all methods for preventing unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases;
- the development of safe and healthy relationships, including communication and consent; and
- optional instruction on all pregnancy outcome options.
The bill does not prohibit discussion of moral, ethical, or religious values as they pertain to human sexuality, healthy relationships, or family formation. Human sexuality instruction must not:
- teach or endorse religious ideology or sectarian tenets;
- use shame-based or stigmatizing language or instructional tools;
- employ gender norms or stereotypes; and
- exclude the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals.
The bill maintains current law related to a school district notifying parents of human sexuality instruction and the ability of parents to excuse a student from human sexuality instruction. The bill does not require parental notification for programming on gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, or healthy relationships that occurs outside of human sexuality instruction. The State Board of Education may not waive content standards related to comprehensive human sexuality education for school districts or charter schools. The bill also specifies that content standards adopted by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) prior to 2018 do not need to be revised.
Current law contains parameters for a comprehensive human sexuality grant program to provide grants to schools and school districts, although the program has not been funded. The program is in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and overseen by the interagency youth sexual health team. The bill changes the program to:
- align with the bill's modified definition of comprehensive human sexuality education and modified content requirements;
- specify that the State Board of Health must promulgate rules for the grant program by December 1, 2019, and that CDPHE must complete a program report, including an analysis of the impact of the grant funding, by January 30, 2021;
- specify that grant applicants must demonstrate that the grant is needed to implement comprehensive human sexuality education, and that rural schools and schools that do not currently offer comprehensive human sexuality education must receive priority; and
- add eight members to the oversight group representing specific organizations and groups, and specify that CDPHE must convene the oversight group by July 1, 2019. The youth member and the member representing parents may be reimbursed for expenses incurred to serve on the oversight group.