Recently, the California Department of Education (CDE) was made aware of two incidents involving the receipt of materials and funding from the tobacco industry and entities associated with the tobacco industry by local educational agencies (LEAs). The acceptance of such items is counter to the CDE’s guidelines for Tobacco-Use Prevention Education (TUPE) as presented in the TUPE Competitive Grants Request for Applications.
These guidelines prohibit any LEA currently accepting or applying for CDE TUPE funds from also accepting educational materials or funding from the tobacco industry or entities that receive educational materials or funding from the tobacco industry for the purpose of educating youth. These guidelines were established recognizing the conflict of interest inherent in the acceptance of tobacco industry funds and materials while educating youth to make positive choices leading to a healthy and productive life.
LEAs are encouraged to examine the appropriateness of entering into a partnership with an outside agency, organization, or industry and whether the proposed collaboration is consistent with the LEAs’ missions and priorities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a document, Guidance for Collaboration with the Private Sector that, while directed towards the CDC’s Centers, may also assist LEAs in this endeavor.While the decision to enter into such partnerships lies with the local Board or Governing Council, they should be aware that LEAs in California that choose to participate in educational partnerships with the tobacco industry or with entities receiving funds or materials from the tobacco industry will be ineligible to receive current TUPE funding or to apply for future TUPE funding from the CDE.