PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) - The Pflugerville school district will offer benefits for same sex and heterosexual domestic partners for the first time and is likely the first school district in the state to do so.
The change in policy goes in to effect when open enrollment begins Oct. 15. Benefits go in to effect Jan. 1.
"This is about our employees and showing value to them," said Pflugerville Superintendent Charles Dupre. "We need to embrace and value differences in others and we need to operate an organization that does not discriminate in any way."
Dupre said the decision was made by the district's Insurance Committee and was not required to be voted on by the PISD School Board. He said it is not a political statement, but rather, a business decision that does not cost the district or the taxpayers.
"This would be a different issue if taxpayer dollars were being used to fund it," said Dupre. "But we were able to make this decision in light of the fact that it's not a taxpayer-funded issue."
The school district only covers the district employee. The employee is required to pay the premium for any dependents on the policy.
"Most Texas-based companies already include this as a part of their benefits," said Chuck Smith, interim executive director of Equality Texas . "I think we'll probably see other teachers and administrators ask, 'Why don't we offer this?'"
Dupre said people have contacted the district to share their strong opposition to this decision.
"This is not a political statement -- it's a business decision in Pflugerville ISD to help our people feel value," said Dupre. "This is not simply about same sex. This is about domestic partnerships of all types -- heterosexual and homosexual."
In order to enroll a domestic partner in the benefit program at PISD, the employee must fill out an affidavit and provide proof of domestic partnership, by proving, for example, of the couple sharing the same residence, joint ownership of a vehicle or bank account or credit card, among other things.
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