Austin ISD will place at least one district police officer at each campus, with the ability for administration to assign additional officers if needed.

The AISD board of trustees made the vote Aug. 31 in response to ​​the passage of House Bill 3 from the 88th legislative session, which requires armed security on all campuses.

By the numbers

As of Aug. 31, AISD currently has 82 full-time officers on staff, including 43 school resource officers, or SROs.

With the implementation of this plan, the district may hire 89 additional SROs and support staff, with the hiring process prioritizing schools by size, need and safety concerns.

The new hires could cost the district an estimated $8 million per year, according to AISD officials.

To cover costs, the board may approve using funds from the school safety allotment and reserve funds. The Texas Education Agency, or TEA, increased the annual school safety allotment by providing $15,000 per campus and increasing the student allotment to a total of $10 per student, according to AISD officials.

Put in perspective

During public comment Aug. 31, parents, students and staff advocated for better mental health resources instead of armed officers on campuses amid a school year that began with the loss of a student.

HB 3 also requires that all staff complete mental health first aid training by the 2028-29 school year.

“My question is: Why act immediately on SROs instead of legally mandated mental health training?” Travis Early College High School student Mateo Alvarado said. “At Travis this year, not only did we deal with one of our fellow classmates passing away on campus, but only a week later we had protesters come to our school.”

Board members agreed the district needs to continue working on mental health needs of the entire community.

“I just hope that the students who took time to be here know that this is really important to us,” Board Member Noelita Lugo said. “And really important to me personally.”

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