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A deep dive into the 17 school safety-related bills Gov. Greg Abbott has signed since 2018

Abbott mentioned the bills several times during news conferences following the Uvalde shooting in May.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: This article will be updated as this series airs.

On May 24, Robb Elementary School in Uvalde became the site of the deadliest school shooting in Texas history. 

In news conferences following the tragedy, Gov. Greg Abbott mentioned several times the 17 school safety-related bills he signed after the 2018 shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas. 

We're taking a look at each of these bills.

House Bill 1387

This bill relates to the number of school marshals at public and private schools.

Before the law, schools were limited to one marshal per 200 students or per building. HB 1387 removed that ratio, so now there is no limit on the number of marshals allowed on campuses.

House Bill 3

House Bill 3 changed the formulas that the State uses to fund schools. The bill included $6.5 billion in new funding for schools, including raises for counselors and funding to help recruit counseling professionals with more experience.

The bill also created a do-not-hire registry of school employees who engaged in misconduct with students.

House Bill 19

House Bill 19 required the Texas Education Agency to add 20 mental health professionals – one for each regional education center in the state. These professionals don't work directly with students, but are there to train educators on mental health first aid and increase awareness of mental health in schools.

It cost the State $4.6 million.

House Bill 906

House Bill 906 created the Collaborative Task Force on Public School Mental Health Services. The group is charged with evaluating the effectiveness of state-funded mental health services in schools and evaluates trainings and the impacts they have on school safety.

Senate Bill 372

Senate Bill 372 changed the rules for security in charter schools to give them the same security options as public schools. Before this bill became law, charter schools could only have security through the School Marshal program.

But SB 372 allowed charter schools to employ private security personnel and commission peace officers. It also allowed them to enter into contracts with local law enforcement for school resource officers.

Senate Bill 2432

Senate Bill 2432 deals with threats from students. It requires administrators to send students who verbally threaten a school employee with bodily injury to a disciplinary alternative education program. Before this bill was law, students were only sent to alternative programs is they committed assault that caused bodily injury, so this bill added harassment.

Senate Bill 11

This bill ordered the Texas Education Agency commissioner to create safety-promoting rules for school buildings. It also implemented mandatory grief and trauma training for teachers, safety audits every three years and the Texas Child Mental Health Consortium. 

Senate Bill 1707

With Senate Bill 1707, school boards are permitted to form contracts with local law enforcement. These boards must then outline law enforcement's duties, which cannot include routine discipline or administrative assignments. 

Senate Bill 1231

This bill, not as directly connected to preventing mass shootings as the other bills, says the Department of Family and Protective Services must notify private and charter school administrators of child abuse investigations that school employees are involved in.

House Bill 18

This bill was the House's comprehensive legislation to address school shootings. It increased the required amount of mental health training teachers and other school staff must complete. It also improved access to services by creating school-based mental health centers. HB 18 also added a curriculum on mental, emotional and behavioral health.

House Bill 2195

HB 2195 requires all school districts to create an active shooter emergency policy. It also requires school police and resource officers to undergo active shooter training. 

House Bill 4342

This bill changes the composition of the Texas School Safety Center Board of Directors. The board advises the staff at the center and creates a report for the legislature every other year.

Under the new law, the board also has to include a professional Texas architect who is a member of the Texas Society of Architects. HB 4342 also increased the number of public members on the board from two to three. 

House Bill 496

The 2018 shooting at Santa Fe High School made clear how important it is to have the right tools to treat victims during a tragedy. HB 496 requires all Texas schools have bleeding control stations. 

It also required staff and students in the seventh grade and above to be trained each year on how to use them. When the bill was signed, each kit was $60 and each school was required to have at least two of them. It cost the state about $1 million.

House Bill 3012

This bill is related to students who are expelled from school. It requires students who are expelled for making a terroristic threat to enter a juvenile justice alternative education program. It ensures all students who are suspended from school, no matter the cause or timeframe, get all of their coursework.

House Bill 2184

HB 2184 relates to how students who are released from juvenile justice facilities re-enter schools. It requires districts to get those students back into traditional classes quickly. It also creates re-entry options for the students and schools.

House Bill 3316

HB 3316 deals with reporting threats to schools. It added conduct and threats made to the list of tips that can be reported to crime stoppers. Also, people who violate school rules can be reported to crime stoppers.

The bill also changed the Texas Crime Stoppers Council, adding a public school student.

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