Breaking News
More () »

Plano ISD trustee says district could have difficult time finding armed officers for campuses

The Board Vice President also says the district would lose money if school choice passed, while costs would remain the same.

PLANO, Texas — Now that the Texas House has passed a measure that would require at least one armed security officer on every campus in Texas, moving HB 3 one step closer to reality, some school districts are starting to prepare for what could become their new reality.

Plano ISD school board Vice President Nancy Humphrey says her district would need to hire 42 new officers.

And she worries about the labor shortage taking a toll on many industries, including police departments across the country.

“I think that will be one of our biggest challenges. It’s not so much the funding, unless they pull funding away from this bill, but it will be, you know, where are we going to find these individuals and how are we going to get them trained?” Humphrey questioned on Inside Texas Politics.

If signed into law, the requirements would be in place for the 2023-2024 school year, so districts will be operating on a fast timeline. Humphrey also wonders where districts will find the flexibility they need to ramp up the program.

The other major issue in Austin impacting school districts faces a less certain future.

The Texas Senate passed the “school choice” bill, SB 8, which would provide $8,000 in taxpayer money, per student, for families to move their children from public schools to private schools -- including religious schools.

But that same day, the Texas House passed a budget with an amendment that would ban using state funding for school vouchers or other similar programs.

And Democrats, who often represent urban school districts, and rural Republicans, who want to protect the public schools in their districts which are often the largest employers, continue holding the line against education savings accounts (ESAs).

If the measure does pass, Humphrey says its impact on Plano ISD would be extensive.

She says the district would lose nearly $10,000 for every student who left, while the costs would remain the same.

“We might have a classroom with 23 kids in it. And then if we have a classroom that now has 22, we’re still paying the same lights, the bus transportation and the teacher cost. So, it becomes a fixed cost issue,” she told us.

Before You Leave, Check This Out