North Carolina’s new law on gay and transgender rights may make the state ineligible for billions in federal dollars for schools, highways and housing.
According to The New York Times, North Carolina may have to repeal the law, depending on what the Obama administration decides.
Under the law, North Carolina eliminated local protections for gay and transgender people and restricted which restrooms transgender people can use. The law is a mandatory statewide anti-discrimination policy.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has said that the law would not affect federal money for education.
However, a Department of Education spokeswoman, Dorie Nolt, said Friday that her agency was reviewing the law “to determine any potential impact on the state’s federal education funding.”
“We will not hesitate to act if students’ civil rights are being violated,” she said.
Last year, the Department of Education gave $4.3 billion to the state for kindergarten through high school and colleges.
White House officials haven’t made any official comment, but a Department of Housing and Urban Development spokesman said they were reviewing the policy.
“We’re reviewing the effects of the law on HUD funding allocated for North Carolina,” said Cameron French, a department spokesman.
According to The New York Times, any decision on federal aid would take time.
“It would be a long process of negotiation,” said Jane R. Wettach, an education law specialist at the Duke University School of Law in Durham, N.C. “I think the federal government would be loath to do it and would give North Carolina every possibility, every chance to change their position, to change the law, to negotiate, to make some exceptions. I think they’d go back and forth for a while and try to come to a negotiated settlement.”
Publication date: April 4, 2016