TEXAS WILL DEFY OBAMA, NO LONGER ACCEPT FEDERAL FUNDS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS

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Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, R, speaks to education issues with editor Evan Smith at a TribLive event on May 10, 2012.
Texas Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, speaks to education issues with editor Evan Smith at a TribLive event on May 10, 2012.

DALLAS (AP) Texas’ lieutenant governor says the state is prepared to forfeit billions of dollars in federal funding for public schools following an Obama administration directive over bathroom access for transgender students.

Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Friday that Texas “will not yield to blackmail” and urged superintendents to defy the new federal guidance. The directive says public schools are obligated to treat transgender students in a way matching their gender identity.

The guidance doesn’t impose new legal requirements, but rather clarifies expectations for districts receiving federal funds.

Patrick says Texas receives roughly $10 billion in federal education dollars. He didn’t say how that money might be replaced. Patrick’s remarks came only moments after more than half the state’s 1,200 school districts lost a major lawsuit claiming that Texas unconstitutionally underfunds public schools.

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