Pflugerville Residents To Voice Concerns Over New Same-Sex Benefits, Accountability By Elected Officials
AUSTIN, TX, Oct. 18, 2012–Concerned Pflugerville residents will have their first chance tonight to address the Pflugerville Independent School District (PISD) Board of Trustees about a new policy that was pushed through by PISD superintendent, Charles Dupre. Mr. Dupre recently announced a major policy change as PISD will now offer insurance benefits to same-sex domestic partners of school district employees, although specific details have still not been finalized. PISD has essentially shut the public out of this issue as the change was announced without a public hearing and without an official vote by the PISD school board. Furthermore, efforts to place this item on tonight’s agenda has been refused, so residents will likely only be allowed to address this issue during the open “citizen participation” time period.
“This power grab by an unelected superintendent looks more like a Washington, D.C. strategy, than how this should be handled in Texas,” said Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values. “The residents of Pflugerville should not have been shut out of this process and the PISD school board needs to be held accountable for this fiasco, particularly on an issue that contradicts our State Constitution and affects taxpayers. The people deserve answers,” said Saenz.
Many believe this policy change by PISD is in direct conflict with the Texas Constitutional Amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, and states that a “political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”
PISD staff have also admitted that the details of the policy are still not finalized adding lack of fair notice to the list of concerns for residents, even though enrollment in the new program started on October 15th.
PISD Board of Trustees meeting is today, Oct. 18th at 6:30, at 1401 West Pecan, in Pflugerville.
Read State Rep. Warren Chisum’s letter to PISD on this issue. Rep. Chisum was the author of the Texas Definition of Marriage Act, which was added to the Texas Constitution in 2005 with the support of over 76% of Texas voters.