83(R) - 2013
Relating to the training in school safety of certain employees of a school district or an open-enrollment charter school authorized to carry a concealed handgun on school premises.
The bill includes a provision limiting the allocation of state funds for the training program in any state fiscal biennium to an amount not to exceed $1.0 million. The bill requires the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to offer the program free of charge to all public and charter school campuses if sufficient state funds and gifts, grants, and donations are available. The estimated cost of the program at full implementation and participation is a negative impact of ($9,379,829) through the biennium ending August 31, 2015. The total cost would be reduced to the extent that participation is not full, and as noted, the cost to state funds is limited to $1 million for the biennium.
Districts and charter schools could approve two employees with licenses to carry concealed handguns to attend annual DPS school safety training free of charge and would be required to pay fees for any additional employees approved to attend the training. The fiscal implications would vary depending on how many employees were selected to attend the DPS training. However, it is assumed that any district opting to send more than two employees to attend the training possesses sufficient financial resources to pay for the training costs.
Summary: SB 17 would permit the Texas Department of Public Safety and Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center to develop a training program to which public school districts and open-enrollment charter schools could send two employees who hold concealed handgun licenses (CHL) for free training. The participants would receive specific training on how to use a firearm on school grounds. School campuses that already have security personnel would not be allowed to participate. Furthermore, school campuses who want more than two employees to participate in the training program could do so but would be charged a fee for the additional employees. This legislation would also create a fund to receive donations and appropriations to administer the program. The donations would have to be used prior to state funding and state appropriations would be capped at $1 million per biennium.
Analysis: This training program would better equip public school personnel to perform their responsibility of protecting students and other school personnel on school campuses. This legislation would ensure that school employees who have CHLs are appropriately trained to protect the lives of students and other school employees if necessary. We support this legislation.