Governor Abbott Directs TEA To Provide Strategies To Make Texas Public Schools Safer
AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today sent a letter to Commissioner Mike Morath directing the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to ensure existing school facilities are held to heightened safety standards following the recent tragedy at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.
“In the wake of this devastating crime, we must redouble our efforts to ensure that our schools provide a safe and secure environment for the children of Texas,” reads the letter. “You should immediately prepare additional rules to ensure that existing school facilities are also held to heightened safety standards. We must do everything possible to protect children and safeguard our schools.”
Governor Abbott specifically requested TEA to:
- instruct school districts to identify actions they can take prior to the start of the new school year that will make their campuses more secure
- instruct all school districts to conduct weekly inspections of exterior doors to verify they are secure during school hours
- develop strategies to encourage school districts to increase the presence of trained law enforcement officers and school marshals on campuses
Governor Abbott has taken significant action to provide all available resources to support the Uvalde community following the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School. Those actions include:
- Initiating the State of Texas’ comprehensive plan to assist and support members of the community, including co-locating state agency representatives to the Family Assistance Center for on-hand assistance in finding benefits.
- Issuing a disaster declaration at the request of local leaders to accelerate all available state and local resources to assist the Uvalde community.
- Requesting Texas legislative leaders convene special legislative committees to begin examining and developing legislative recommendations on school safety, mental health, social media, police training, firearm safety, and more.
- Directing the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) to begin immediately conducting comprehensive school safety reviews to ensure all Texas public schools are following the appropriate procedures to maximize school safety.
- Investing an initial $5 million into establishing a long-term Family Resiliency Center (FRC) in Uvalde County to serve as a hub for community services, including access to the critical mental health resources.
- Working with the OneStar Foundation to create a one-stop webpage for donations to support the victims’ families, teachers, and the Uvalde community.