Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 5/20/16
The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy is a research institute and lobby group based at the UCLA School of Law. They released a report based on Gallup Poll data from 2012 saying that 0.3 percent of the adult population in the United States identifies as transgender.
It’s a vanishingly small number to have stirred up such a political tempest. Three tenths of one percent means that out of 320 million people living in the United States, 96,000 of them identify as transgender. One good-sized football stadium’s worth spread out across a continent.
In practical terms, it means that any given school principal will either never be confronted with an issue involving a transgender-identifying student or will be so confronted only very rarely.
One would like to believe that if an issue involving a transgender student were to arise in some particular school somewhere, the principal, the local community and the school board could figure out what to do about it without any involvement from the federal government.
Yet the Obama administration – perhaps the most statist administration in our history – has just issued a diktat on school restrooms that affects very nearly every public school in very nearly every city, town and neighborhood in the country.
So how is it that the federal government is micromanaging local schools right down to to the restrooms? The answer is, because the federal government sends money to most local school districts. And there is no such thing as a federal dollar without federal strings.
Trace it back to Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and the Elementary & Secondary Education Act of 1965. That law brought about the most sweeping federal involvement in local school districts in U.S. history.
In 1980, Congress gave us the Department of Education.
By 1981, public education was such a convoluted mess that Congress passed the Education Consolidation & Improvement Act.
Nothing got better so in 1994 we got the Improving America’s Schools Act.
By 2001, America’s public schools were so demonstrably unimproved that we got the now largely discredited No Child Left Behind Act.
Fifteen years later, millions of children are being left behind, reading and math scores are not improving, dropout rates are appalling and many school campuses can only be described as war zones.
Meanwhile public school districts – including the ones here in Texas that doggedly persist in calling themselves “independent” – are in fact hooked on federal money.
In much the same way that a drug dealer exerts de facto control over his addicted customers, the federal government exerts de facto control over the school your child attends.
If that control was producing outstanding results, it would be one thing. But the results are horrendous. And the more the federal government does, the worse things get.
Yet the Department of Education now weighs in on school restrooms with a straight face. As if that’s the pressing matter.
I’ve said it before. Show me one example of the federal government making things better.
Show me just one.