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Bill To Be Filed To Enhance Texas School Safety
Three lawmakers out of the Houston area announced they will file legislation to enhance safety for students and school personnel.
Sen. Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands) is sponsoring The "Texas School District Security Act" with Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston) and Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Humble).
The bill would give school districts the option to ask taxpayers for funding to control the hiring of licensed peace officers and improve security measures. The money would be from higher sales or property tax.
The plan is a response to the school shooting tragedy last month at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Laura Jones, a parent of two, says she is concerned about the lack of safety measures at her daughter's school.
"There is a front desk you have to pass by, I don't think there is more they can do as an institution," Jones said.
But she doesn't think more taxpayer dollars is the answer.
"It could happen to anyone anywhere and it's really scary. On the other hand you don't want the pendulum to swing to far in the other direction," she said.
Some school districts in the Austin area already have peace officers. Hutto ISD has three in the district that cost $220,000. The district pays for 75 percent of the cost, while the City of Hutto covers the rest.
A spokesperson for the district says they are at the maximum cap for property taxes and by law cannot ask voters for more money.
Dripping Springs ISD does not employ any full time officers, but they do set aside $6,000 a year to hire security at large events.
Lawmakers say a constitutional amendment may be required to ask voters for more money. They say the bill is a Texas sized solution to save lives without sacrificing our right to bear arms.
By Christie Post