State leaders divert $100 million for school security measures
School Finance Texas Legislature School Safety
Date Posted: 6/28/2022 | Author: Mark Wiggins
The state’s top three lawmakers announced plans Tuesday, June 28, 2022, to move $100 million in existing school funding to cover enhanced school safety measures.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) issued a budget execution order ratifying recommendations signed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R-Texas), House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont), Senate Finance Committee Chair Joan Huffman (R-Houston), and House Appropriations Committee Chair Greg Bonnen (R-Friendswood).
According to the governor’s press release, the funding will pay for the following:
- $50 million for purchasing bullet-resistant shields;
- $5.8 million to expand the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT) program statewide;
- $4.7 million to the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to increase Multisystemic Therapy (MST) across the state;
- $950,000 to HHSC to expand Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) teams across the state;
- $7 million for rapid response training by the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center and $3 million for local law enforcement agencies to offset travel expenditures associated with the training;
- $7 million to the Texas School Safety Center for on-site campus assessments to evaluate access control measures;
- $17.1 million for school districts to purchase silent panic alert technology; and
- $5 million to the Texas Department of Public Safety to expand fusion center research and capabilities.
According to the governor’s order, the transfer “will not affect current school operations or funding,” and school districts will continue to receive their full per-student allotment for the current fiscal biennium.
The order also directs up to $5 million in funding to the Hill Country Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities (MHDD) Center to enable HHSC “to assist in evaluating mental health services in the Uvalde community and preparing a needs assessment for the legislature.”
The transfer of these funds will not extend beyond the current fiscal biennium, which runs through August 31, 2023. Legislators will adopt a new state budget when they meet for the regular session of the 88th Texas Legislature beginning in January 2023.
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