Treating all Texas students with dignity

This morning, State Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) held a press conference to address the recent Texas Supreme Court school finance decision as well as the new guidance from the Department of Education on how school districts should treat transgender students. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick recently said that Texas would refuse $10 billion in Federal funds as a response to the Department of Education's guidance on how to treat transgender students with respect. 

"At a time when the Supreme Court admits that Texas' school finance system is barely scraping by constitutionally, we can't afford to walk away from $10 billion in federal funding that helps to feed and educate our state's neediest kids," said Senator Ellis. "Let’s instead turn our focus to investing in our neighborhood schools and treating all of our students with the dignity they deserve."

"This is about classrooms, not bathrooms." said State Senator Sylvia Garcia.

The press conference offered a range of speakers including Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston), Senator Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston), State Representative Gene Wu (D-Houston), HISD Trustee Anna Eastman, HISD Trustee Jolanda Jones, Houston Community College Trustee Robert Glazer, Houston Federation of Teachers President and Houston Community College Trustee Zeph Capo, Dr. James Douglas of the Houston-branch of the NAACP and representatives of Equality Texas.

At a time when schools in Texas are already underfunded, the idea of the state turning away Federal dollars simply because current state leadership wants to reserve the right to discriminate against members of the transgender community is simply unconscionable. 

To view the Department of Education and the Justice Department's joint guidance on how to treat transgender students and to see a compilation of examples of the ways that schools across the country are already successfully supporting transgender students, follow this link.

The video of the full press conference can be found above.