President Obama's $3.55 trillion budget proposal cut funding for abstinence education. Since the late 1990s, schools nationwide have received about $1.3 billion for programs that teach teens that the expected standard for their sexual behavior is abstinence until marriage. Obama's budget shifts funds to programs that teach contraceptive methods instead. (Reuters.com, 5-7-09)
A federal judge in Jacksonville, Florida has ordered the St. Johns County School Board not to allow children to learn the song "In God We Still Trust" at school. Historically, it has not been seen as a violation of the Establishment Clause for public school choirs to sing religious songs. Lawyers, however, argued that teaching the song to 3rd graders constituted "religious instruction," and are seeking damages from the board. (TCPalm.com, 3-25-09)
In Massachusetts this year, 72% of those who took the state's elementary school teacher licensing exam failed the math section. The test measured teachers' skills in elementary school math topics including geometry, statistics, and probability. (WPRI.com, 5-19-09)
Father John Jenkins, President of the University of Notre Dame, sits on the board of directors of an organization that promotes contraception and abortion in Africa. The organization, Millennium Promise, distributes birth control and promotes the establishment of "abortion services" in small villages throughout Africa. Jenkins and Notre Dame are particularly involved in the Millennium Villages Project in Uganda.
Uganda has had signature success in reducing levels of HIV through domestic programs emphasizing abstinence and monogamy. Millennium Promise, however, does not emphasize abstinence or monogamy, and Ugandan leaders in the fight against AIDS have publicly criticized large Western aid organizations for their contraceptives-based approach.
News of Fr. Jenkins's involvement drew national attention amid the controversy over the Catholic university's honoring of pro-abortion President Barack Obama. (Lifesitenews.com, 5-13-09)