FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan
April 19, 2016
House Appropriations Strips Ed Board of Funding Over LGBT Guidelines
Retaliatory move punishes board’s efforts to protect LGBT students
LANSING — The GOP-controlled House Appropriations Committee voted today to strip funding away from the State Board of Education in retaliation for proposed LGBT guidelines for school districts. An amendment to restore funding to the Board was defeated along party lines.
LGBT students are often targets of harassment, violence and bullying and the State Board of Education created the guidelines to assist districts in helping these students feel more welcome and safe in school. They were created in response to requests made by educators and district leaders. Now they’ve become a target for the Michigan GOP who wants to attack the policies to push a regressive and discriminatory agenda in the state.
The vote today to strip the State Board of Education of its funding is further proof that conservative elected officials are hell-bent on enshrining discrimination into state law — as well as its budgets.
“These conservative elected officials are no different than a bully on the playground. Either they’re too ignorant to realize the damage their agenda is causing, or they’re willingly endorsing violence and harassment,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “However you spin it, it’s wrong. We need to be protecting kids, not punishing those who believe that all children should be treated with respect and dignity.”
Conservatives have used the guidelines to push discriminatory “bathroom bills” that demonize and attack the transgender community. This type of rhetoric only stokes misunderstanding and fear of already marginalized people.