The House passed (on the first of two votes) three school safety bills. The final vote will be taken Tuesday.
- HB 3 by Rep. Dustin Burrows has generated controversy due to its requirement that districts have an armed security officer at every campus, and several attempted (but ultimately unsuccessful) amendments centered around this provision. It also includes a $100 per student school safety allotment totaling $1.6 billion and increases TEA oversight of districts’ safety and security plans.
- HB 13 by Rep. Ken King creates a “sentinel” program under which employees can be certified to carry a gun, with an accompanying incentive of a $25,000 stipend. In addition to the training required for school marshals, the sentinel would receive training on mental health first aid and trauma-informed care. The bill includes other provisions increases funding and creating grants for safety programs, including a new State School Safety Fund for ongoing assistance that would be authorized if approved by voters next November.
- HJR 170 by K. King proposes the constitutional amendment authorizing the above-mentioned State School Safety Fund that will come before Texas voters next fall.
- SB 838 by Sen. Brandon Creighton and Rep. Shawn Thierry will be headed to the governor’s desk after the final vote on Tuesday. It requires that districts provide a panic alert device for every classroom, beginning with the 2025-26 school year.