DCCPTA is always looking for ways to educate its members and provide opportunities to advocate for all children. In the past couple of days, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey and its administration have been in the news. Below are some facts for you to review and who you may contact to advocate on this topic.
- Duval County Public School (DCPS) has received a grant from the CDC – Division of Adolescent School Health (DASH) for approximately the past 10 years. The first five-year grant was awarded in 2013, then the district reapplied and was awarded a second five-year grant. This year, the CDC has agreed to extend the grant for a sixth year, if a request for an extension is submitted soon.
- DCPS receives approximately $500,000 a year from this grant for the purpose of
- Supporting teens, families, and the community.
- Providing health and safety resources that are free and easy to access.
- Youth Risky Behavior Survey is a required component of this grant.
- The survey is conducted with randomly selected middle and high school students every 2 years (every other year during the grant period).
- Students are able to opt out of or stop taking the survey at any time while taking it, so it is completely anonymous and voluntary.
- Without obtaining the survey data, DCPS will lose the grant and lose the opportunity to extend the current grant for an extra year and additional funding (again, $500,000 a year).
- So far, this school year (August 2022 – January 2023) over 1,000 teens have received a variety of services through the Teen Health Centers that are funded by this grant.
- Last School year (August 2021 – July 2022), 843 students were served.
At this point, FLDOE has directed DCPS (as well as Orange, Palm Beach, Broward, Pasco, and Hillsborough) to discontinue the administration of the YRBS. This discontinuation would cause the loss of the grant for the district.. The reason for this directive was the FLDOE felt some of the questions were “controversial and personal”.
The letter from the FLDOE, as well as a more detailed summary of the CDC grant and YRBS are attached for your review. If you would like to advocate, please contact the people below. Also, time is of the essence as decisions are being made by DCPS Leadership soon. You may reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.