The Influence of Inclusive School Policy and GSAs on Long-Term Well-Being for LGBT Students in Texas
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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (i.e., LGBT) youth are at risk for lower educational attainment than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. Prior research indicates that inclusive anti-discrimination policies and gender sexual alliances (ie., GSAs) can improve school outcomes for LGBT and all youth, yet few studies have examined these strategies with respect to long term educational attainment such as graduation rate, college readiness, and higher education enrollment. Using data from the Texas Education Agency (TEA), I conducted nested regression analyses to examine the influence of inclusive enumerated anti-discrimination policies and GSAs on long-term educational attainment indicators in the 20 largest public school districts of Texas. Results suggest that across school districts, 42.03% of schools had GSAs and 56.04% had inclusive policies. Further, students in schools with GSAs were significantly more likely to be deemed college-ready or college, career, or military-ready by the TEA. Our findings indicate that GSAs may be a successful proximate strategy in supporting inclusive campus culture that can translate to long-term positive outcomes.