July 20, 2024

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Texas approves $105.5M for school safety, mental health in wake of Uvalde


About half of the funds ($50 million) will be used to purchase bulletproof shields for school safety officers, a specific request from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Other initiatives funded include $5.8 million to expand Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine statewide, $4.7 million to increase multisystemic therapy across the state, $10 million in total for rapid response training for law enforcement and $17.1 million for school districts to purchase silent panic alert technology.

The expansion of coordinated specialty care teams, funding for the Texas School Safety Center and the expansion of fusion center research and capabilities was also funded. 

These initiatives, which cost $100.5 million, will be funded through a budget execution, which allows the state to transfer funds from one area of the approved budget to another. The funds will be transferred from the general revenue appropriations approved for the Texas Education Agency, according to the budget execution document. The funds are from a budget surplus and will not affect current school operations of funding, the document said. 

An additional $5 million will be provided to the Hill Country Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Center to provide resources to the Uvalde community and prepare an assessment for the Texas State Legislature. These funds will be transferred from money appropriated to the Health and Human Services Commission, the budget execution document said.

Each of the initiatives will not be funded beyond Aug. 31, 2023, unless the Legislature chooses to do so, the document said. None of the initiatives address gun policies in the state. 

“The State of Texas is acting swiftly to ensure our schools are secure and that children, teachers, and families across Texas have the support and resources they need to be safe as we work to prevent future tragedies like the heinous crime committed in Uvalde,” Abbott said in the release. “Our communities – urban and rural – are stronger when Texans are safe and healthy, and I thank my partners in the legislature for quickly addressing the need to expand critical mental health and school safety initiatives in the Lone Star State.” 


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