Last August the State Board of Education approved a 6-month delay in the standards revision timeline for Healthful Living Standards. Under the timeline, the first draft of the new standards was scheduled to be released in February 2023.

So far things haven’t quite followed the proposed schedule.

Fast forward six months to the February State Board of Education meeting. DPI staff noted that the first draft of the Healthful Living Standards would be scheduled for “mid-March.”  One month later at the March meeting, DPI staff noted that draft one of the proposed standards would be released in mid-March for Feedback with presentation of the standards to the State Board of Education in April.  At the April meeting, DPI staff reported that the Standards Writing Team (SWT) still had not completed the first draft and that presentation to the State Board of Education would “be in the next few months”  Those expecting the standards to be reviewed at the State Board of Education’s May meeting last week, were once again disappointed. At the May meeting, DPI staff shared a presentation that said DPI is preparing the first draft of the standards. It also noted that standards would then be presented to the State Board of Education and released to the public for feedback. Conspicuously absent from the May presentation was any reference to scheduled dates of completion or for presentations to the State Board.

These curious developments beg the question: Why is it taking so long to draft Healthful Living Standards?  in addition, why is no member of the State Board of Education taking an interest in these delays?

This situation is important for several reasons. Healthful Living Standards address the topics of sex education, Health and physical education. The new standards will create a framework for discussing such subjects as sex and gender. The standards will also give clues as to how schools will teach about biological sex or assigned sex.  Once the standards are developed, we’ll also be able to tell if the standards will reflect a traditional view of biological sex or focus on assigned sex that includes LGBTQ-sex education classes as well as lessons on gender identity, gender expression or transgenderism.   

Those are some of the questions we’ll all waiting to have answered.  Why it’s taking so long, is a question, only DPI can answer.