TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Governor Sam Brownback issued a statement following the Obama Administration’s action directing schools on the issue of transgender students. In a joint directive from the Department of Education and Department of Justice, the Obama Administration made an implicit threat to withhold federal funding for schools that do not comply with its guidance.
The Kansas State Board of Education discussed the matter on Tuesday, May 17.
The recent guidance letter sent from President Obama’s administration is an unprecedented example of executive over-reach. This attempt to federalize local school board decisions by threatening legal action or denial of federal funding is wrong.
The President has acted without Congress and without consulting the States. This attempted top-down reinterpretation of federal law rejects both logic and prudence, and would result in numerous problems and challenges for our public schools.
Furthermore, it is astonishing that the Administration would be willing to eliminate funding for school lunches, special education, children of military servicemen and women, and every other public school student in the pursuit of a political agenda.
States, not the federal government, have the primary responsibility for directing education policy. These policy decisions should be made by local schools and communities, not the federal government. When issues involving questions of gender identity arise, it is our local communities, school leaders, and parents who will know how best to respond to specific situations.”
Brownback tweeted the decision on his account. However, many Kansans fired back against the governor.