Just when you think Washington can’t stoop any lower, the Biden administration says it will withhold funding for lunch for poor kids and other programs if schools don’t follow the feds’ new Title IX interpretation for LGBTQ.
According to The Center Square, this means that schools around the country will be forced to comply with a range of pro-transgender policies in things like sports, housing, locker rooms, and bathrooms if they want to continue receiving federal funds for lunch and other programs.
The Biden administration said in its announcement this is a push toward “equity and fairness.”
“USDA is committed to administering all its programs with equity and fairness, and serving those in need with the highest dignity,” Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said. “A key step in advancing these principles is rooting out discrimination in any form – including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” (emphasis added)
That, my friends, is a load of horse manure. Neither the Biden administration nor Kansas school districts give a damn about eliminating race-based and income-based educational discrimination. In fact, they perpetuate it.
Kansas legislators have provided more than $5 billion in incremental funding since 2005 to close achievement gaps for low-income students, but a 2019 Legislative Post Audit discovered that most of the spending they examined “did not appear to specifically address at-risk students as required by state law.” The State Board of Education responded in a Kansas City Star column that essentially said, ‘shut up, go away, we know what we’re doing.’
What they’re doing is perpetuating race-based and income-based educational discrimination. White high school students in Kansas are more than three times as likely to be proficient in math than Black students, and the same is true for income-based comparisons. And these gaps are getting worse.
Some governors are ready to fight
A spokeswoman for Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R.) said the Biden administration’s decision to “withhold food from disadvantaged children in order to advance a deranged political agenda” was “appalling.”
“We will not allow Biden to force Floridians to choose between children’s food and parents’ rights,” DeSantis’s press secretary Christina Pushaw told the Washington Free Beacon. “That is the kind of ‘decision’ that a totalitarian regime would force upon its citizenry.”
South Dakota governor Kristi Noem (R.) told the Free Beacon her state will take legal action.
“Joe Biden has threatened to take away children’s school lunch money to pursue his radical agenda,” Noem said. “He’s targeting states like ours that make it clear biological men do NOT belong in girls’ bathrooms and sports. If you act on this, Joe, we’ll see you in court and we will win.”
This attempt by Washington to determine who can use the women’s restroom is why federalism is so important. We cannot have what should be local decisions subject to the whims of a federal bureaucracy that chooses to reinterpret legislation.
Kansas governor Laura Kelly is silent on the issue, but it’s pretty safe to say she doesn’t share the views of governors De Santis and Noem. To wit, she vetoed legislation that would protect girls from having to compete with biological males in sports.
It will be up to Attorney General Derek Schmidt to protect girls from discrimination in sports and from having to share their restrooms, and he is already on it. Last year, Schmidt joined 19 other states suing the Biden administration over its new Title IX interpretation.
Editor’s Note: the original version of this story did not mention the lawsuit Schmidt filed last year.