The Austin Independent School District grabbed headlines when Superintendent Meria Carstarphen announced the district would extend health insurance benefits to domestic partners — both same-sex and heterosexual couples who are not married – starting in September. But since that announcement in March, the district has beat a hasty retreat.
We applauded Carstarphen’s decision to offer domestic partnership benefits, starting this school year. Extending health benefits to another member of an employee’s household expands health coverage and potentially makes it more affordable to those individuals. Also, it gives the district an edge in recruiting by offering a benefit other districts don’t. In taking that action, the Austin district signaled its commitment to equal treatment for all employees.
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