The Texas Education Agency has issued new safety guidance just weeks after the school shooting in Uvalde, which left 19 children and two adults dead. Dallas News reports that districts must inspect every exterior door of each campus prior to the start of the next school year.
As part of the new safety guidance, they must also conduct a summer safety audit and review emergency operations and active threat plans. This new guidance from the TEA says all campus staff must be trained on safety protocols. Officials must ensure that every exterior door closes and locks.
Before the TEA decision, Gov. Greg Abbott directed the agency to enforce door inspections. The Uvalde shooter managed to enter the elementary school through an unlocked exterior door. When the school year begins, the doors must be inspected at least once a week. The agency has now begun developing rules on building standards to improve securing facilities.
According to Dallas News, Texas' school facility imprint is massive, with over 8,000 campuses and 672 million square feet, a larger footprint than every state but California. Across Texas, building designs and security protocols vary greatly. Dallas News says that while Texas superintendents want safer schools, money and logistics stand in the way. Gov. Abbott announced a $105 million budget transfer to expand school security and mental health initiatives. The money will go to silent panic alert tech, safety audits, mental health telemedicine, and bulletproof shields. TEA will receive input from districts from schools not in compliance with the standards.