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The Case for NOT Cutting K-12 Health Education… ever!

As I hear stories of districts’ dire need to balance a budget that is hurting and has been hurting for years and years, I hear that some might cut the one content area that not only could have prevented the widespread infection rates of COVID-19, but could have helped so many young people and adults cope, advocate, & access to keep themselves and loved ones safe. Health Education.

I’d like to educate the public on what K-12 health education is. I guarantee a majority of Americans still assume health ed is just sex and drug ed. So, to clearly show what a health literate adult might be able to demonstrate and what knowledge they may have after a strong K-12 comprehensive health education program, see below.

This table above shows what a health literate adult should know (top box) and be able to analyze (bottom box) during the COVID-19 outbreak. If adults can’t do this, you might consider making the case for health education locally or nationally to decision makers and leaders. These knowledge and skill expectations would be taught in a health education classroom.

Below includes the next 3 health education standards; accessing valid and reliable resources, interpersonal communication and decision making. Again, if an adult doesn’t have these skills, advocate for comprehensive health education as an essential content area for ALL students.

The final 3 National Health Education Standards are below; goal setting, self-management and advocacy. Do you know adults in your life that struggle with these skills? Do your part! Advocate for quality health education. Ensure that a certified health education teacher is teaching your child! Ensure that the teacher is teaching skills-based health education, not just sharing information about diseases. When schools are back in session, in whatever way they look… ALL students should have access to knowledge and skills that set them up as 21st Century Learners. Taking away health education would be detrimental to our young people!

If you'd like a pdf copy of this document, click here.

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