At the beginning of the 86th Legislative Session, Governor Greg Abbott named school safety among his emergency items. The Texas Legislature took action to address this priority by increasing safety and mental health supports in Texas schools through the passage of Senate Bill 11, House Bill 18, House Bill 19, and House Bill 906.
Senate Bill 11 (SB 11)
SB 11 focuses on expanding mental health initiatives, strengthens safety and emergency protocols, and provides funding to districts to increase safety and security on campuses. TEA will work closely with the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) in implementing SB 11, as well as with other statewide entities, including the regional education service centers (ESCs) and the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). TEA’s roles include:
- Coordinating with ESCs to identify mental health resources throughout the state and develop a statewide plan to ensure all students have access to mental health resources;
- Ensuring local education agencies implement policies integrating trauma-informed practices in each school environment;
- Working with the TxSSC to ensure all school districts create and implement substantive multihazard emergency operations plans that focus on prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery;
- Establishing a comprehensive safe and supportive school program that incorporates research-based best practices and develop model policies and procedures for training districts’ threat assessment teams;
- Establishing school safety facilities standards, and
- Administering a $100M school safety grant (funded through SB500) to provide funding for facility hardening and an allotment to fund school facility improvements, school safety personnel, safety training and planning.
More information coming soon.