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Texas News | Texas school respond to House Bill 3 | #schoolsaftey

TEXAS, USA — School districts across the Lone Star State are actively working to ensure the safety of their campuses in response to House Bill 3.

Part of the Texas Public School Finance and Property Tax Reform Bill allocates $15,000 for school safety initiatives to address security concerns on every campus across the state, and some districts are already taking advantage.

For example, Temple ISD is adding armed security officers to eight of its campuses.

“Student and staff safety are job one,” Temple Superintendent Dr. Bobby Ott said. “We have worked hand-in-hand with the Temple Police Department on all safety measures and couldn’t ask for better counsel and support.”

On the flip side, however, smaller districts are saying there might be some complications as the bill puts a financial strain on them.

“Funding is tough,” Dr. Beth Aycock, Salado ISD Assistant Superintendent, said. “It’s required us to make some tougher choices. It’s disappointing that we’re not getting more funding and support from the state. The amount of money that they’re giving us to accomplish this is inadequate.”

Salado ISD says the 2023-2024 school year will be the first time their campuses will have their own local police department as well as school marshals. 

“You’re going to see educators actually taking it upon themselves to physically keep their children out of harm’s way,” Aycock added. “It doesn’t require hiring professional law enforcement, but it still adds that layer of security and protection to the building.”

Academy ISD Superintendent Billy Harlan says the district is going to fully comply with the new state safety and security mandates. 

“We are in the process of working with the Bell County Sheriff’s Department to ensure that all AISD campuses have licensed, armed officers,” Harlan said. “AISD is not anticipating any increases in school violence and will continue to provide the very best environment for our students and school community. Funding is definitely an issue for smaller schools, but we are fortunate to have the resources at this time to comply with the state mandates.”

While the bill comes with its challenges for some districts, the top priority for schools across the nation is the safety of their staff and children. 

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