1998 Texas Attorney General Reports and Opinions 2612 (1998)

handle is hein.sag/sagtx0072 and id is 1 raw text is: Office of the Z1ttornep @enerat
6tate of Texas
ATTORNEY GENERAL                     January 9, 1998
Dr. Mike Moses                            Opinion No. DM-465
Commissioner of Education
Texas Education Agency                    Re: State Board of Education adoption of sex
1701 North Congress Avenue                education curriculum and textbooks (RQ-942)
Austin, Texas 78701-1494
Dr. Jack Christie
Chair, State Board of Education
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701-1494
Dear Commissioner Moses and Chairman Christie:
Under the revised Education Code,' the State Board of Education (the board) is required
to establish the public school curriculum and adopt textbooks for use in public schools. At the same
time, the Education Code allows local school districts to choose course materials and instruction
relating to human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, the human immunodeficiency virus, and
acquired immune deficiency syndrome for use in their districts. The code also mandates five
elements, mostly relating to abstinence from sexual activity, that must be included in any course
materials and instruction on human sexuality chosen by a district. You ask about the relationship
between the powers granted to the board and those granted to local school districts with respect to
sex education in public schools.
We begin by discussing the relevant law. Section 28.002 of the Education Code sets out the
minimum curriculum that must be offered by a public school district with grades kindergarten
through twelve.2 Each school district must provide a foundation curriculum consisting of English,
mathematics, science, and social studies. Educ. Code  28.002(a)(1); id.  4.002. Each district must
also provide an enrichment curriculum that includes health, physical education, fine arts,
economics, career and technology education, technology applications, and, to the extent possible,
languages other than English. Id.  28.002(a)(2).
'Act of May 27, 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, 1995 Tex. Gen. Laws 2207, 2207.
'For school districts that do not offer kindergarten through grade 12, the board must designate subjects
constituting a well-balanced curriculum. Educ. Code  28.002(b).

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