Pawlenty says sex ed proposal is unacceptableby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A new mandate for sex ed in Minnesota schools could threaten a major education bill working its way through the Capitol.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty said the sex ed measure is unacceptable.
The proposal to require sex education in all public schools was added to an education policy bill this week in the DFL-controlled House. It passed earlier in the state Senate.
Some lawmakers said about five out of every six Minnesota schools provides comprehensive sex education now.
Pawlenty said the new mandate is unnecessary.
"We have an existing law on it that I think is pretty good, and it gives substantial latitude to local school boards and parents and community leaders, rather than having the state come in and issue all the marching orders in this area," Pawlenty said. "And I think the local approach, with some state support, is the way to go, and that's what our current law does."
The Republican governor noted that although he can line-item veto spending measures, he can't strike the sex ed language from the education bill without vetoing the entire bill.
A House and Senate conference committee started discussing the school bill Wednesday night, and it could meet again later today.