Active Shooting Threats Student Focus on the Discipline Code introduced by the Texas Senate

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Legislation aimed at keeping Texas schools safe moved forward after the Senate voted unanimously to introduce it on Wednesday.

The proposal comes nearly a year after the deadliest Texas school shooting in Uvalde – in which a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers.

The broad bill would give the Texas Education Agency more oversight to address school safety needs and allow state intervention if districts fail to provide safety plans.

It would also restore a shorter timeline for schools to refer students to truancy court and require districts and parents to share discipline records that include a student if they move to another district. Truancy and discipline have become the focus of lawmakers after reports that the gunman in Uvalde often missed school when he was a student.

Texas lawmakers can make it easier to expel students from class

It will also require more training in responding to an active shooter on campus.

At the same time, it will set a minimum funding of $15,000 for school safety per campus annually.

Lawmakers spent months reviewing what happened at Rupp Elementary and how to make the schools safer, releasing a nearly 100-page report in December.

How Texas Senators Want to Make Schools Safer After Uvalde

Texas schools currently receive just under $10 per student to invest in campus safety. But district leaders say the money does not extend far enough to fully cover their needs.

ISD leaders in Dallas have previously urged lawmakers to raise the amount to at least $200.

The Senate bill does not include the additional money that school administrators say is needed to improve campus security.

Sen. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, unsuccessfully tried to introduce an amendment that would require schools to adopt and implement preventive measures, such as trauma-informed family engagement practices.

The bill heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

On Monday, the House of Representatives is scheduled to debate four school safety measures in that chamber.

They include bills requiring at least one armed officer per campus; increased school safety allowances to $100 per student; put silent panic buttons in the classroom; and the establishment of the Public Schools Safety Fund for projects that enhance security across campuses.

The regular legislative session ends May 29, under which lawmakers must pass bills before they are sent to Gov. Greg Abbott for signature or veto.

The DMN Education Lab deepens coverage and conversation about pressing education issues critical to the future of North Texas.

The DMN Education Lab is a community-funded journalism initiative, supported by Bobby and Lottie Lyle, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation, the Dallas Regional Chamber, Didi Rose, Jarrett, and Cecilia Boone, The Meadows Foundation, The Muriel Foundation, Solutions Journalism Network, Southern Methodist University, and Sidney Smith Hicks and the University of Texas at Dallas. The Dallas Morning News maintains full editorial control of Education Lab’s press.