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Preferred pronouns and gender fluidity discussion banned at Texas school district

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On Monday, Dallas suburb Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District voted 4-3 in favor of banning the use of preferred pronouns, classroom discussions on sexual orientation, and transgender sports participation.

“Under the new rules, teachers will only have to refer to students by the pronouns that match their sex assigned at birth — regardless of what the child’s parent has requested” writes the New York Post.

The policy applies to 6th grade and below, banning discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity. Gender fluidity discussion is reportedly prohibited in all grades.

Additionally, the policy requires students to play on the same sports teams as their biological sex. “The policy on the agenda … that keeps girls competing against biological girls is very important to me,” a grandmother, who wasn’t named, told the Texas Tribune amid the vote.

“I want to make sure that my granddaughters can enjoy the fruits and labor of my generation by participating in fair competitive sports.”

The report noted early 200 people signed up to speak at the regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting; the event lasted for eight hours.

Some members of the community, such as Mike Sexton, were not pleased with the passed policy. “This is incredible — you’re acting like people don’t exist. There are thousands of people in this district that are LGBTQ, that live here, that are taxpayers” he said.

The New York post writes that the Texas school is not the first to take such actions. Grace Christian School in Valrico, about 20 miles outside Tampa, Florida “last week implemented similar gender pronoun rules but went a step further by saying gay and transgender students will be asked to leave.”

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Report: Denver area migrants cost $340 million to shelter, educate

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A report by the free-market Common Sense Institute found the more than 42,000 migrants who have arrived in Denver over the last year and a half have cost the region as much as $340 million. The city of Denver, local school districts, and the region’s health-care system have spent between $216 million and $340 million combined to shelter, feed, clothe, and educate the migrants, and to provide them with emergency medical care.

National Review explains the report builds off a previous report from March that conservatively found that the migrants had cost the region at least $170 million. “Costs are never localized,” said DJ Summers, the institute’s research director. “They expand outward.”

Democratic leaders are being blamed for their welcoming posture toward immigrants generally, and their sanctuary-city policies, which curtail law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with federal immigration agents. Since late December 2022, at least 42,269 migrants — or “newcomers” as Denver leaders call them — have arrived in the city, adds National Review.

The Common Sense Institute report found that the migrant crisis has also hit local emergency rooms hard with extensive expenses. Since December 2022, migrants have made more than 16,000 visits to metro emergency departments. At an estimated cost of about $3,000 per visit, that has resulted in nearly $48 million in uncompensated care.

Summers said those costs are “stressing existing health care organizations,” but they also indirectly hit residents in their pocketbooks through increased insurance prices.

Metro school districts have endured the biggest financial hit — estimated between $98 million and $222 million — according to the Common Sense Institute report. The large range in costs is due to the difficulties researchers had identifying exactly how many new foreign students are tied to the migrant crisis.

The researchers found that since December 2022, 15,725 foreign students have enrolled in local schools. Of those, 6,929 have come from the five countries most closely identified with the migrant crisis — Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

On average, it costs a little over $14,000 to educate a student for a year in a Denver-area public school, but Summers said migrant students likely cost more.

“They have transportation needs that are different, they have acculturation needs that are going to be different, language assistance needs that are going to be different,” he said. “Many of them might need to get up to speed in curriculum. They might need outside tutoring.”

Earlier this year, Colorado lawmakers approved $24 million in state funding to help school districts statewide plug budget holes related to the migrant students.

Summers said the updated Common Sense Institute tally is likely still missing some costs related to the ongoing migrant crisis.

“There are definitely additional costs. We just don’t have a great way to measure them just yet,” he said, noting legal fees, crime, and unreported business and nonprofit expenses.

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