Abbott to Request $54 Million for School Safety Initiatives

We've been talking a lot in the last several months of how to make Texas schools safer.  Now its time for Texas taxpayers to pay for it.

News Radio 1200 WOAI reports Gov. Abbott will ask the Legislature in his State of the State speech in January to allocate $54 million to school safety programs, and that's just the beginning.

"We do recognize that these proposals will require more funding," Abbott said.

Abbott, following several 'round table' sessions in the two months following the deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School in May, last week released forty proposals for increasing school safety, from added police protection and school marshals in the classrooms, to increasing physical security, to doing a lot more to investigate the mental health of students.

State Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) who is on both the Education and Finance Committees, says the Legislature will make the funds available.

"We've gotta make certain that we put in place dollars coming from the state, and not just in this upcoming session," West said.

The funding of the comprehensive school safety program has been one of the big unanswered questions surrounding the governor's initiatives.

West says the final budget may be different from the $54 million proposed by Abbott.

"We have to take that and juxtapose it with other spending proposals," he said.  "But I assure you, they will get something for their program."

Abbott said school safety needs to be among the top priorities in the 2019 session.

"There will be the commitment in the Capitol to make sure we are smart and strategic in providing the funding necessary to keep our fellow citizens and our students safe."


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