A shooting at a Texas community college shut down the Houston-area campus while legislators in Austin, Texas offered a plan allowing communities to tax themselves to pay for school security.
Texas voters could decide whether to tax themselves to pay for armed guards or other public school safety measures under a plan outlined Tuesday by three Houston-area state lawmakers. At the same time the legislators discussed this in Austin, the Texas capital, a Houston-area college was in lockdown after a shooting wounded at least three.
The Texas School District Safety Act is the latest attempt to beef up security at public schools after last month's mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. State Senator John Whitmire, one of the bill's sponsors, said that while the original plan was to include only public school districts, lawmakers could consider whether to expand it to include college and university campuses.
Schools typically pay for security measures out of their general budgets. The plan broadly outlined Tuesday by Whitmire, State Sen. Tommy Williams, and State Rep. Dan Huberty would allow local schools to set up special taxing districts — if approved by local voters — to raise the money. Williams and Huberty are Republicans; Whitmire is a Democrat.