CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Leaders of North Carolina’s public universities are grappling with the threat that the federal government could withhold billions of dollars if the state loses a legal battle over transgender students and bathrooms.
The University of North Carolina governing board spent hours Tuesday discussing a lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department accusing the 17-campus system of violating federal civil rights laws. UNC President Margaret Spellings says the state’s public universities can’t operate without federal funding, and college leaders are trying to prevent risking that the money will be cut off.
A North Carolina law adopted in March requires transgender people to use the bathroom or locker room in schools or other public buildings that match the sex on their birth certificate. The Justice Department alleged in a lawsuit Monday that the state law violates federal civil rights laws.