Sex Ed Win in Education Budget Bill Celebrated by Youth Advocates

ST. PAUL, MN — Young Minnesotans organizing with the Minnesota Youth Activist Alliance, a project of Advocates for Youth, celebrated this week as Governor Tim Waltz signed the Education Supplemental Budget Bill (HF 5237/SF 5252) into law.

The overarching education legislation includes new regulation regarding health standards and expansion for sexual education in Minnesota K-12 schools, which the Minnesota Youth Activist Alliance worked behind the scenes to include as part of their Sex Educate Us campaign. 

“This has been a two-year campaign to update and standardize sexual health standards in Minnesota,” said Yamali Rodas Figueroa, a 19 year old organizer with the Minnesota Youth Activist Alliance. “It shows the tenacity of young people that we never gave up, continued to show up, and believed that our government could work for young people if we just kept making our voices heard.”

“This is a crucial victory in the fight for accessible and accurate sex education,” said Tori Westenberg, a 21 year old organizer with the Minnesota Youth Activist Alliance. “Every Minnesotan in every part of our expansive state deserves the same level of quality sex education. This will make our state a safer and healthier place to live, grow and thrive because sex education equips children and young people with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that help them to protect their health, develop respectful social and sexual relationships, make responsible choices and understand and protect the rights of others.”

The education bill’s primary focus is to help families purchase healthy food during the summer months, alongside expanding access to child care in Minnesota, but the Minnesota Youth Activist Alliance also worked with the “Health & Wellbeing Education Standards Workgroup,” which consists of over 70 community and student groups, behind the scenes to include language impacting the sexual education curriculums taught in K-12 schools. 

On sex education, the legislation will: 

  • Change “health” from a locally adopted standard to a statewide standard starting in the 2026-2027 school year or when the commissioner adopts statewide standards, whichever occurs later. Health education standards were the only required academic standard determined at the local level, rather than the state level in Minnesota. 
  • Instruct the state commissioner to consider advice from parents, teachers, school boards, representatives of Tribal Nations, current students (with input from the Minnesota Youth Council), and members of the public when developing standards
  • Add a review of health education standards and benchmarks to the ten-year review cycle for other statewide standards; the review will begin in the 2034-2035 school year and occur every ten years thereafter
  • Require students to satisfy state health standards in order to graduate high school
  • Require the following topics in age-appropriate health education standards: mental health; CPR and AED use; vaping awareness and prevention; cannabis use and substance use; sexually transmitted infections and diseases
  • Include the following optional topics in age-appropriate health education standards: child sexual abuse prevention; violence prevention; character development; safe and supportive schools

For press inquiries about the current state of sex education in Minnesota and how this bill – and activists throughout the state – are working to make sure every student gets age appropriate and accurate information about their health, please contact mnalliance@advocatesforyouth.org for more information.


Advocates for Youth is a 501(c)3 organization that champions efforts that help young people make informed decisions about their reproductive and sexual health. Advocates for Youth boldly advocates for a more positive and realistic approach to adolescent sexual health, focusing its work on young people ages 14-24 in the U.S. and around the globe.