Governor Greg Abbott hosted a bill signing ceremony Thursday at the Texas State Capitol to sign legislation related to school safety and mental health.
The bill comes after the tragic shooting that occurred at Santa Fe High School on May 18, 2019. Abbott held a series of round tables with legislators, educators, administrators, law enforcement, advocates, parents, and students to find a viable solution to increase safety and security of students.
House Bill 1387, sponsored by East Texas Representative Cole Hefner, will remove the cap on the number of school marshals that may be appointed per campus.
Senate Bill 11 will strengthens emergency preparedness and response protocols, improves school facilities standards, establishes better threat assessment protocols, and provides schools more funding for school safety efforts.
The bill also establishes the Texas Child Mental Health Consortium to leverage higher education expertise in the state to improve the mental health care systems for Texas children.
House Bill 18 does the following:
- increases mental health training for educators and other school professionals to aid in early identification and intervention
- emphasizes the importance of mental health education for students
- improves access to mental and behavioral health services through school-based mental health centers and the hiring of mental health professionals