THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS
Ken Paxton

Frequently Asked Questions
About p.a.p.a. for Educators

What is p.a.p.a.?

p.a.p.a. stands for Parenting and Paternity Awareness program. This curriculum was originally developed by the Office of the Attorney General's Child Support Division and has been in use in Texas public schools since 1995, the year the first version was published. At its initiation, p.a.p.a. was reviewed and endorsed by the Texas PTA and all statewide teacher organizations. A new version was issued in 2003, and more than 2,000 Texas educators and community professionalswere trained in using the curriculum. The 2008 edition of the curriculum is being distributed to use in high school health classes beginning in fall, 2008.

Is p.a.p.a. required?

The 80th Legislature passed HB 2176, which directs the State Board of Education to work with the OAG to develop a parenting and paternity awareness program that school districts must use in the high school health curriculum, effective the 2008-2009 school year. In collaboration with the Texas Education Agency and the SBOE, the OAG has committed resources to provide the p.a.p.a. curriculum, along with training, to all high school health teachers to ensure full compliance with the statute.

What does p.a.p.a. teach?

The learning objectives of p.a.p.a. include: responsible parenting, a basic understanding of paternity and child support laws, skills for healthy relationships, financial implications of becoming a parent, impact of father involvement, benefits of stable family relationships on children, and relationship violence prevention. It should be noted that p.a.p.a. is not a sex education curriculum.

What's in p.a.p.a.?

The curriculum contains 14 sessions of approximately one hour. Sessions include a DVD segment of 2-3 minutes, and a lesson supported by group activities, handouts, and workbook exercises that may be done in class or as homework. Health (and other curriculum area) TEKS covered in each session are identified to facilitate incorporation of the p.a.p.a. curriculum into an already full semester of health topics.

What do teachers say about p.a.p.a.?

A survey of teachers trained in using the curriculum found that 93 percent thought it easy to use and 100 percent thought it was successful in teaching students the rights and responsibilities of parenthood and helped the students think more seriously about their own future as a parent.

How do teachers receive training on p.a.p.a.?

The OAG provides free training through Education Service Centers, school district in-service, and other community-based organizations. Training can be scheduled by contacting papa@texasattorneygeneral.gov.

What does the training consist of?

The training is one full day (6 hours), and provides an overview of the p.a.p.a. curriculum, explanation of the critical legal issues addressed in the curriculum, and the background training to effectively use it with students. Teachers will receive a free copy of the curriculum as well as other resource materials.

Can teachers other than those in health classes receive training and use the curriculum?

Yes. Although health teachers will be prioritized, other teachers are welcome to receive training along with a free copy of the curriculum.

Can p.a.p.a. be taught to middle-schoolers?

Yes, p.a.p.a. was developed for grades 6 through 12. Middle-schoolers may need some extra vocabulary assistance. School districts are encouraged to inform parents in advance about the curriculum and invite them to visit this website to familiarize themselves with the content of p.a.p.a.

May a school district send a representative to be trained who can then train other teachers within the district?

No. Since a significant part of the p.a.p.a. curriculum training has to do with somewhat complicated legal content, the Office of the Attorney General only distributes the curriculum to individual teachers as part of the training.

May the p.a.p.a. curriculum be purchased?

No, the curriculum is available free to teachers after training. Examination copies are available to institutions by contacting papa@texasattorneygeneral.gov.

If teachers have taken training on the earlier version of p.a.p.a., prior to September 2007, do they need to repeat training?

Probably so, since the revised version has five new chapters, and getting a "refresher" on the legal issues is usually helpful.

What if a teacher has taken the current p.a.p.a. training but still needs more information on p.a.p.a. legal issues?

Check the Child Support FAQs on the OAG website (link). Another good resource is TXAccess.org, the question and answer section of a website sponsored by the OAG. In addition, teachers can email papa@texasattorneygeneral.gov with questions that are not answered in the above listed resources.

In regard to HB 2176, are there other parenting and paternity awareness curricula that school districts may use instead of p.a.p.a. that meet the state mandate?

HB 2176 stated that the State Board of Education and the OAG would work together to develop a program "that a school district shall use in its high school health curriculum," and that program is p.a.p.a. The SBOE further adopted New 19 TAC Chapter 74 Curriculum Requirements § 74.35. Additional Requirements for High School Health Classes. p.a.p.a. is the only curriculum that meets the requirement.

Our high school already has a family violence prevention skills program for students as part of our district-wide family violence prevention program. Do we have to duplicate that with Session 13 of p.a.p.a.?

No, you may continue to use the program that you have in place. This is the one exception that HB 2176 makes.

Can school nurses get continuing nurse education credits for p.a.p.a. training?

Yes. This continuing nursing education activity was approved by the Texas Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center�s Commission on Accreditation.