The House Select Committee on Youth Health and Safety voted out several bills Thursday that address school safety and student discipline issues, including:
- HB 98 by Moody, which allows districts to contract with a local mental health authority to provide mental health services on a campus; and to enroll as a provider in, and receive reimbursement from Medicaid.
- HB 249 by Rogers, which allows districts in counties with a population under 150,000 to approve a program for authorizing retired law enforcement or veterans who can provide security services on school grounds or at school activities and who are authorized to carry a handgun.
- HB 473 by Hull, which requires a threat assessment team to notify the parent of a student before conducting a threat assessment, and to allow the parent an opportunity to participate in the assessment.
- HB 516 by Wu, which requires superintendents to report to TEA on incidents involving various types of student disciplinary actions, including teacher removals from the classroom. Although the author removed an objectionable section that would have required the inclusion of the names of teachers taking such actions, the reporting requirements are likely to have a chilling effect on teachers’ ability to remove disruptive students.
- HB 669 by Thierry, which requires districts and charters to provide a panic alert device in every classroom.
- HB 1157 by Lozano, which requires districts to excuse a student’s absence for an appointment with a mental health professional.
- HB 1358 by Harless, which requires that campus improvement plans include goals and methods for dropout deterrence.
- HB 1626 by Allen, which addresses how districts handle a student’s transition from an alternative education program to a regular classroom.