Texas Senate passes bill to improve active shooter plans for schools

The bill was passed in response to the Uvalde shooting. Some question whether it adequately funds the requirements it places on schools.

By Alexandra Hart and Wells DunbarApril 21, 2023 12:22 pm, ,

The Texas Senate has approved a new bill aimed at improving the active shooter plans for schools across the state. The bill, introduced by Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, comes in response to last year’s massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde that killed 19 children and two teachers.

According to the Texas Tribune’s James Barragán, the bill strengthens school districts’ and schools’ requirements for active shooter training. It also creates a security and safety department within the Texas Education Administration to ensure schools develop active shooter plans and follow best practices.

“Last year, an audit after the Uvalde shooting found that more than half of schools in Texas did not have an active shooter plan, even though they were required to do so,” Barragán said. “And four out of five were not following best practices. So it’s really beefing that part up, and also tackling some truancy laws.”

The bill’s passage has been welcomed by lawmakers and some education advocates, although some are concerned the bill doesn’t offer schools adequate funding, Barragán adds. “There is some concern that there’s not enough money to do all the things that the bill is asking schools to do.”

For more stories from the week in Texas politics, listen to our interview in the audio player above.