Kansas Schools' Bathroom Policy To End In $479 Million Loss In Federal Funding?By Marilyn B. Stewart, UniversityHerald Reporter
Kansas State Board of Education has voted unanimously to ignore the school's submission with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 that permits the student's bathroom choice regardless of their biological gender. The decision was ahead of United States President Barack Obama administration's directive on accommodating transgender students.
The Kansas State Board of Education board aired its opinion regarding the federal directive mandated by Obama. They have pointed out that the local schools should best decide how to handle issues that transgenders confront in schools, which is strengthened through a 10-0 vote.
"We are firm in our belief that decisions about the care, safety and well-being of all students are best made by the local school district based on the needs and desires of the students, parents and communities they serve," said the statement adopted by the Board.
"In Kansas, like many other states, our schools have been addressing transgender student needs with sensitivity and success for many years," they added.
Obama administration officials and LGBT activists stressed the importance of the directive to ensure that schools are putting their resources in protecting the civil rights of their most vulnerable students, The New American reported. It is in relation to the high rates of bullying and harassment on transgender people, as well as the numerous cases of depression and attempted suicide.
While the Obama administration's guidance is not legally binding, districts that shall not conform with the policy may lose education funding. With the Kansas board taking a firm stand on the controversial policy, some are concerned that the vote could entail a $479 million loss in federal funding allocated for the state's education budget, Washington Post reported.
Scott Gordon, general counsel for the state's education department, did not believe that the entire state would lose funding, while contending to the fact that one transgender student has filed a discrimination complaint with the Office of Civil Rights in 2015.
Kansas State Board of Education Department, nonetheless, is confident that the federal government would unlikely feel compelled to cut federal funding to the state.