The Bloomington city council's social services funding committee met last week for a couple hours to hear proposals from the various social service agencies seeking a grant from the Hopkins fund. As is always the case, the proposals for funding came to more than the city had budgeted for grants, so the city will have to deny some of the requests and not fully fund others. This, of course, is why Planned Parenthood should not be funded.
I found it interesting that there we a number of requests to cover salaries. The guidelines for funding state that the funding request should be for a one-time investment, rather than an ongoing expense. According to the document posted on the city's website (download the PDF) "this restriction discourages agencies from relying on these funds from year to year and from using these funds to cover on-going (or operational) costs, particularly those relating to personnel."
This is another reason PP's request should be denied, because this is an ongoing program rather than a true one-time investment. This is not the purchase of an autoclave or a medical examining program (both of which have been purchased for PP by the city in the past) but a request for "help" for a sexual education program that will continue well into the future. Of course, PP does not need "help" for this program, as I have pointed out many times in the past. Planned Parenthood does not need the money. They are seeking a political endorsement, nothing more.
The focus of this program is Indiana University students, though the program is not limited to them. Councilor Andy Ruff asked if there would be a way to determine whether the students who are getting services from this program have a financial need for the program. The woman presenting for Planned Parenthood dodged the question, simply repeating an earlier statement that the program will focus on freshmen at IU.
Obviously, residents of Bloomington should not be paying for students to attend this program when they can easily pay for it themselves, and it is interesting that Planned Parenthood's representative dodged the question. It is easy to give a direct answer to that question, even if that answer is "I don't know and I will have to get back to you on that." Why did PP not answer Ruff's question directly? Sidestepping the question is a disservice to the taxpayers of Bloomington, and shows disrespect for those taxpayers and the city council.
I asked PP's representative after the meeting if this would be limited to college students or whether it would reach younger ages. I was not surprised to find out that it reached into local high schools, but it should be a concern that PP is also reaching into middle schools down to the sixth grade. They will be going into the schools. I sent an e-mail to the MCCSC School Board to ask questions about what PP would actually be doing when they go into the schools.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Sex, love and the freshman 15
Date: Sat, 19 May 2012 06:34:21 -0700 (PDT)
From: Scott Tibbs <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Dear School Board members,
Planned Parenthood is requesting a grant from city government for a sex education program that targets Indiana University students. PP's representative told me last Tuesday after her presentation to the social services funding committee that the program will also seek to educate younger students, down to the sixth grade, and that they would be going into the schools to provide this education. I have a few questions about this.
Does Planned Parenthood already have times scheduled for this program?
Will parents be informed about this, and will parents' permission be required for their children to participate?
How detailed will this program be? Specifically, what will be taught to these students?
Will Planned Parenthood also be offering STD testing to local middle and high school students?
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