"This is going to impact most of what everyone does," in terms of school anti-drug programs, said Kay Beth Stavley of the Texas Education Agency.
Under rules that went into effect this month, the Department of Education will require school districts and other agencies that receive federal money to prove within two years that their programs reduce drug use among students.
School districts will have to tackle the tough job of scientifically justifying their current programs; choose programs that have already been accepted as effective; or find a new source of funding. Schools that don't use federal money or those that already use proven, effective programs won't have to change, said Ms. Stavley, Texas coordinator for the Safe and Drug-Free Schools program.
For others, "the reality is that schools need to seriously rethink what they're doing, really look at where their dollars are going, what's the best use of their funds," she
The education agency has given school and state officials a list of programs that experts say have been proven effective by testing and research.Education officials stress their list is partial and preliminary, intended only as a guide to school officials.
D.A.R.E. leaders say they have been consulting with federal education and Justice Department officials about what it would take to get their program on the recommended list.