There has been a national trend of states turning down federal funding for abstinence-only education. And as of last week, Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona has joined the list of governors who are saying no to just saying no. Napolitano, like others, says that abstinence-only education just isn't good enough.
So how does a Democratic governor in a Republican state justify this refusal? Napolitano is, after all, a shrewd politician. The method behind the madness is after the jump.
In a letter to the federal government, the governor turned down about $1 million in federal funding for abstinence-only education next year, saying the program that requires a state match of more than $750,000 has been proved not to work.
"While we all support abstinence-only and don't believe, in particular, that teenagers should be engaged in sexual relationships of that sort, the fact of the matter is that some do," Napolitano said. "They need to have complete information for their own health."
Like I said, Napolitano is a shrewd politician. Arizona is facing a major budget deficit this year. "Napolitano said a big part of her decision to reject the federal funding was the requirement for a state match when the state is facing a budget deficit of more than $1 billion." I'm sure she would have rejected the funding on other grounds, but this was an easy out for her, especially when she has a laundry list of other social programs (like domestic violence shelters, one of her pet projects) to fund.
Face it, abstinence-only is a huge waste of money. Fiscal conservatives need to get on this one and join the bandwagon.