Health Advisory Councils need more guidance, structure and consistency.
The CHEA requires that each school district create a 13-member health advisory committee (HAC) to aid the local school board with sex education curriculum development. However, the Sterling Report tell us that in too many districts, HACs don’t always have the required members, don’t convene, or convene in chaos.
While the CHEA states each HAC should have two health professional members, 22 districts failed to meet the requirement. Among the HACs that did comply with membership requirements, nine didn’t meet during the 2010-2011 school year. Non-responding school districts and those who admit they are in violation of HAC requirements add up to five in ten school districts. That means 50% of school districts have an incomplete or inactive HAC as a “resource.” Their members receive limited-to-no training on course development, age-appropriateness, or evidence-based sexual health programs.
This lack of training breeds an environment where personal opinion often overrides science.