Alvin ISD’s board of trustees approved an exception for the district to a new state bill that is intended to increase safety on Texas school campuses, citing lack of funding and staff.

The gist

The state Legislature earlier in the year passed House Bill 3, which is a safety bill that requires at least one armed security officer to be on all campuses during school hours, according to district documents.

Alvin ISD trustees at their Sept. 12 meeting approved a good cause exception to the law. The exemption will give them more time to put their plan together to meet the law’s requirements.

In the meantime, district officials will roll out a safety plan as an alternative to the new law, according to district documents.

In the new plan, the district will use sergeants to monitor and adjust needed coverage, with random rotations of officers covering schools, according to district documents.

The details

Alvin ISD officials have been trying to meet the standard laid out in the new bill for five years, according to district documents. However, lack of funds and staffing have not allowed for it yet.

According to district documents, typical coverage would include:
  • Three officers at each high school
  • One officer at each junior high school
  • One officer at every two elementary schools
  • One officer to cover RISE Academy, ADAPT school and the administration offices
For the 2023-24 school year, the district has eight authorized officers providing services to 22 elementary and auxiliary campuses, according to district documents.

Officials have broken the district’s schools into 14 different sectors, which will allow an officer to be responsible for no more than two campuses, according to district documents.

Also of note

Alvin ISD joins a number of other school districts that have either approved good-cause exceptions or are still working toward plans to meet the bill’s requirements.

Some district officials—such as in Pearland ISD, the board of which approved an exception in August—have said the new bill doesn’t provide enough funds to districts to cover its requirements.

The bill provides a $0.10 increase per student and $15,000 to each campus, according to the bill.