A few key bills addressing school safety advanced Tuesday:
- HB 3 by Rep. Dustin Burrows and HB 13 by Rep. Ken King are both priority bills on school safety issues for the House leadership (as indicated by their low bill numbers), and they were both approved by the House Select Committee on Youth Health and Safety on Tuesday.
- HB 3 increases school safety funding; a controversial provision requires at least one armed security officer during school hours at every campus. The bill also addresses TEA oversight of district safety plans and provides that the agency can assigned a conservator or board of managers for a district’s failure to submit to required monitoring or comply with safety requirements. HB 13 focuses on mental health training for employees, requires districts to implement an active shooter preparedness plan, and requires districts’ threat assessment policies to include a procedure for students to report concerning behavior. It also enhances funding for safety measures.
- Rep. King’s HJR 170, proposing a constitutional amendment to establish a State School Safety Fund was also approved.
- SB 838 by Sen. Brandon Creighton requires that every classroom have a panic alert device. It passed the Senate on a 31-0 vote and was sent to the House, where its companion, HB 669, has already passed out of the Youth Health and Safety Committee.