In my second semester with Texas Freedom Network, I was apart of a demonstration on campus showing student support for domestic
partner benefits. We may be nowhere near that on our own campus, but as the Texas Tribune reports, Pflugerville Independent School District has been the first Texas school district to implement these benefits. Unfortunately, their offer of health insurance to these couples didn’t go unnoticed by lawmakers opposing it.
State Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, filed a bill on Feb. 20 targeting the school district, but House Bill 1568 would apply to any Texas school district that would allow employees to add their domestic partner to their health care plan. Spring said he wants our tax dollars to go to children, not “trying to expand social benefits that we decided in 2005 was unconstitutional.” However, no tax dollars would be used in allowing these employees to add their partners. Employees would pay the premium.
Several major Texas cities already offer domestic partner benefits, so why not allow schools? Many of the lawmakers who say they believe in a better quality education for our children, but don’t seem to realize that to get the best of the best in teachers we need to offer the best of benefits. We could potentially be driving away valued faculty and staff in our schools at a time when that is the last thing we need.
Be sure to contact your state rep to tell them what you think about domestic partner benefits in our Texas schools.