When it comes to school security, a group of state lawmakers believes each district knows best, and wants to give districts more options—and money—to protect Texas schools.
"The experience in Newtown, Connecticut has affected all of us very deeply," Republican Texas Senator Tommy Williams said.
In the wake of one of the deadliest massacres in U.S. history, Senators Tommy Williams and John Whitmire and Republican Representative Dan Huberty are proposing the Texas School District Security Act.
"This is a vehicle that is going to address most of the school districts in the state with the ability to prioritize a revenue source that no one will have to debate what its purpose is," Democratic Sen. Whitmire said.
The act would give each district the ability to vote on and approve funding for security, and if approved, the schools would then decide how they want to use it. Districts would also have the opportunity to turn the money down entirely.
“School communities are smart enough to figure out what works best for them and how much they are willing to commit to solve their security issues," Sen. Williams said.
In Texas, there is no shortage of gun rights advocates—including the Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who is running for lieutenant governor.
“Anything we can do to have a competent armed presence at places where we have had mass shootings is a good thing,” Patterson said. “Yes, it could be a teacher, but it probably won't be a teacher. The idea that we are going to have every teacher armed is just horse manure."
If passed, part of the bill would allow for a dedicated sales or property tax to fund the Texas School District Security Act. Any change would have to be approved by voters.