AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas lawmakers want to hear from experts and the public on ideas for improving school safety in the wake of last month's shootings at a Connecticut elementary school.
The Senate has scheduled a hearing Monday. Lawmakers are already considering having the state pay for special weapons training for teachers and other school personnel. The state's largest teachers group has opposed that idea.
Three Houston area lawmakers want to set up special taxing districts to pay for school security. And Attorney General Greg Abbott has called on schools to review existing security plans.
School safety ranks among the top issues for lawmakers this session after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., left 26 dead, including 20 children.
At least two Texas school districts allow some teachers and administrators to carry concealed weapons.
Senator Craig Estes holds joint hearing on school safety
Austin – State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) held a joint hearing of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Rural Affairs and Homeland Security, and the Senate Committee on Education to discuss increasing the safety of students and teachers in Texas public schools.
Recent events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and at Lone Star College in Harris County have prompted lawmakers to discuss how to improve school safety in our state. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst has directed Senator Estes to recommend ways to prevent heinous acts of violence against our children.
"The number one job of government is to protect its people, and it is critical that students, teachers and staff feel safe in Texas schools," Senator Estes said. "Though it is impossible to legislate against evil, we will work together to identify and address gaps in public school resources that measurably affect the safety and well-being of Texas students and teachers."
The hearing included testimony from law enforcement, school administrators and school safety experts.
From the Office of Senator Craig Estes, Texas State Senate District 30