The board of trustees approved $655,379 to be used for safety and security equipment, software and systems. GCISD’s Chief Operations Officer Paula Barbaroux said the dollar amount was formulated by the or TEA for the district.
School safety laws passed by the Texas Legislature require districts to maintain armed officers on campuses and require new security systems, such as panic buttons or anti-intrusion film on campus windows.
District officials do not know when the funds from the TEA will be received, Barbaroux said, so the board approved using funds from the 2016 bond surplus to cover the costs on June 26. The money received from the TEA grant would reimburse the bond funds used for the expenditures.
“The reason for the appropriation is to give our district flexibility [and] be able to get started moving in the direction we have to,” she said during the June 26 board meeting.
The new rules are staggered in their implementation timeline, Barbaroux said. To meet those deadlines, she said the district needs to start contracts and purchase orders now for the equipment and systems.
What’s in the bills?
House Bill 3 was created by Rep. Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock, and mandates the following.
- One armed security officer, such as law enforcement officer, school marshal or teacher licensed to carry a handgun, must be present at all public and charter schools.
- $10 per student will be given to districts for school safety initiatives.
- Districts will receive $15,000 per campus for an armed security officer.
- The bill becomes law on Sept. 1.
Senate Bill 838, by Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, became law May 5 and must be followed by the 2025-26 school year. Under this law, all public and charter school classrooms must have silent panic alert devices. The devices, which can be activated manually or through an app, can alert district officials and law enforcement to the following:
- Active shooter situation
- Medical emergency