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NDSU Sis EURVERE Ty May 29, 2019 Senator Janne Myrdal P.O. Box 153 Edinburg, ND 58227-0153 Re: PREP Grant Senator Myrdal: Thank you for your letter, dated April 23, 2019. 1 appreciate your patience with this response. Due to end of the academic year complexities as well as various travel schedules, we needed some time to prepare this response, Your letter received a large number of legislative signatories, and we respect the position held by you ‘and your co-signors. After reading your letter, we noted that the primary concern raised in the letter is the participation of Planned Parenthood with this grant, rather than the education being provided. We appreciate this concern and want to reiterate that there are no clinical or abortion services associated with this grant. This grant is about education and helping to prevent teenage pregnancies and unhealthy relationships. In addition, as we have previously indicated, the administration at NDSU cannot just cancel the grant. The faculty involved in this grant received an extension through 2020, and the concept of academic freedom prevents administration from interfering with their research as long as the faculty are complying with the law. If we attempted to control research, particularly in response to political pressure, then NDSU could be violating accreditation standards which require academic freedom and political autonomy. We cannot risk our accreditation because without it, NDSU would not be able to accept any Federal money, including student loans and grants. Finally, before | answer the specific questions posed by your letter, | thought it would be useful to provide some background information about the grant and the program. PREP Background The Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) isa federal program managed by the US. Department of Health & Human Services. The purpose of PREP is to educate adolescents and young adults on both abstinence and contraception in order to prevent unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. PREP targets youth ages 10-19 who are homeless, in foster care and juvenile justice centers, live in rural areas or in geographic areas with high teen birth rates, or come from racial or ethnic minority groups. The program also supports pregnant and parenting youth under the age of 21. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT NDSU Dept 1000 | PO Box 6050 | Fargo NO 58108-5050 | 7012817211 | Fax 7012518722 | wwwindsueds PREP provides grant money to each state. States can administer the project directly or through sub- ‘awards to public or private entities, Grantees are required to use one of the forty-four different models designated by U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The choice of model depends on the needs and age of the target population of each funded project. These models have been proven to delay sexual activity, Increase condom or contraceptive use for sexually active youth, and/or reduce pregnancy among youth. In addition, PREP projects must incorporate at least three of six congressionally mandated adulthood reparation skills in the following areas: ‘+ Healthy relationships, including development of positive self-esteem and relationship dynamics, friendships, dating, romantic involvement, marriage and family interactions; * Positive adolescent development, to include promotion of healthy attitudes and values about adolescent growth and development, body image, racial and ethnic diversity, and other related subjects; ‘* Financial literacy, to support the development of self-sufficiency and independent living skills; © Parent-child communication skills; * Education and employment preparation skills; and ‘+ Healthy life skills, such as goal-setting, decision making, negotiation, communication and interpersonal skills, and stress management. Funding Funding for this program comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of ‘Administration for Children and Families, The program was established and funded through the Affordable Care Act, initially under the Obama administration and later reauthorized by the Trump administration. In FY 2013, organizations and entities in states and territories that had not applied for PREP formula grants in either of the two previous years became eligible to submit competitive applications for funding. These states and territories were Florida, North Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Indiana, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Marshall Islands and Palau. For more information, see https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/fysb/cprep 20170310 O.pdf. Implementation of the Competitive Personal Responsibility Education Program (CPREP) in North Dakota In 2012, a team of researchers from NOSU submitted an application for CPREP funding to implement the program described above. The researchers assessed the availability of partners who worked regionally to implement similar effective, evidence-based sexual health programs and found that the Planned Parenthood affiliate of MN, ND, SD (PPMNS) was the only organization currently providing this kind of programming. In addition, PMNS already had: (1) established educational program models consistent with the federal requirements specified in the PREP grant requirements; and (2) experience with train- {the-trainer methodology for building capacity in areas that have been previously underserved with this type of education, As such, the researchers submitted the grant with PPMNS as a subawardee. The grant was funded and has maintained funding for programming through 2020. 2 To meet the federal regulations of the CPREP funding, the North Dakota grant offers direct programming to youth, as well as programming for parents and adults who work with youth in order to address the lack of state-wide infrastructure for evidence-based, effective comprehensive sexual health education. ‘The goal of the programs targeting youth in North Dakota is to provide medically accurate, culturally responsive, evidence-based sexuality education and adulthood preparation instruction grounded in healthy youth development to diverse, high-risk, vulnerable youth. Adult programming includes education and training for parents and adults who work with youth. Programming for parents includes preparing parents to be the primary sexual health educators for their children, including conveying family values and expectations about sexual behavior. Training is also offered for professionals who work with youth to train them to be approachable, nonjudgmental and reliable resources for sexual health information for the youth they serve. To further build capacity for other organizations to provide effective, evidence-based programming irectly to youth, the funding includes training youth serving organizations in the evidence-based programs, providing technical assistance to implement the programs and supporting their work by providing educational curricula and implementation supplies. Question No. 1 (Did the program administrators at NDSU consider partnering with any other organization on the Safe Spaces program? If so, who were they and why were they considered insufficient? If not, why not?): For context purposes, itis important to understand that the process of deciding a subaward colleague on a grant is different from selecting a vendor through the procurement process. Researchers commonly work with colleagues at different institutions, some in the private sector and some in the education sector, when they are preparing to submit a grant. One entity will typically take the lead on the application and the other colleagues are called subawards. The selection process for subawards is an important part of the process because the researchers have to ensure that they have the capacity to fulfil the requirements of the proposal, and the researchers have to collaborate throughout the project, This is an area in which researchers are entitled toa high degree of discretion since they are the experts in these topical fields. There are a variety of factors that researchers evaluate when looking for subawardees such as prior work history, expertise, reputation, availability, research philosophy, etc. Once the lead entity and the proposed subawardees are identified, then the proposal submitted and hopefully awarded by the granting agency. ‘As noted above, the NDSU researchers assessed the availability of partners who worked regionally to implement similar effective, evidence-based sexual health programs and determined that the PPMINS was the only organization currently providing this kind of programming in the region. In addition, PPMINS already had: (1) established educational program models consistent with the federal requirements specified in the PREP grant requirements; and (2) experience with train-the-trainer methodology for building capacity in areas that have been previously underserved with this type of education, 3