08/11/2011 05:02 pm ET | Updated Oct 11, 2011

Colorado Should Investigate Abstinence-Only Grant

This week's Westword cover story, by Andy Kopsa, reported that Denver-based WAIT Training managed to circumvent both Governor Ritter's rejection of federal abstinence-only funds and Colorado law requiring comprehensive sex education in order to obtain federal grant money through the Colorado State Board of Education. Westword also reported that in order to comply with state requirements regarding inclusiveness of gay and lesbian students, WAIT Training claimed that its curriculum was "vetted" by the American Psychiatric Association's Gay and Lesbian Issues Team even though the head of that team denies approving the curriculum. Moreover, WAIT Training was the only grant applicant that was also involved in the state's process of requesting federal abstinence-only funds, and WAIT Training received funding despite scoring the lowest of all Colorado applicants on the state's grant evaluation rubric.

As reported in the article, Ethics Watch believes the circumstances surrounding the WAIT Training grant should be investigated fully by the State Auditor to determine whether any improprieties occurred during the contracting process. The Legislative Audit Committee, a bipartisan joint committee of the state House and Senate, has the authority to "recommend special studies" to be conducted by the State Auditor. The committee should recommend a full investigation of the WAIT Training grant at the earliest opportunity.