Days Are Numbered for Ineffective Abstinence Ed

Bill Scher

The key to building trust in government is to show deep understanding of the difference between effective and ineffective government — putting our tax dollars into what works, scrapping or revamping programs that don’t work.

Thankfully, some ineffective government may soon be kicked to the curb. According to CQ Today, House leaders plan to let expire the $50 million in annual federal funds supporting abstinence-only education.

Putting aside philosophical arguments about sex ed, the simple fact is abstinence-only education has been proven a failure at getting teenagers to abstain, by a Bush administration-funded study no less. (The release of study was delayed for years.) Earlier, a report from Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chronicled the dangerous misinformation these programs are giving teens.

CQ reports that congressional leaders, spooked by the “tricky” politics of sex ed, plan the let funding expire without “calling attention” to it.

That’s a mistake. To help build trust in Congress to invest taxpayer money wisely into addressing big problems, it’s worth highlighting when Congress is saving taxpayer money from wasteful boondoggles.

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