Governor Abbott announces $105.5 million allocation for school safety, mental health

Governor Greg Abbott announced that he would be transferring $105.5 million to support school safety and mental health initiatives through August 31, 2023. $5.8 million, less than 5.5% of the transfer, will be sent to statewide initiatives by the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT) and only $4.7 million, less than 4.5% of the transfer, will be sent to the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to provide care to at-risk youth. Less than a million dollars was allocated to HHSC to provide early treatment for patients experiencing psychosis. These three appropriations, only roughly 10% of the total transfer, constitute the only portion of the funds that will go directly toward mental health care initiatives. 

The funds were specifically designed to address the tragedy in Uvalde, yet the majority of the funds are directed toward security measures that would not have prevented the shooting. Nearly half of the funds, $50 million, are being used to purchase bullet resistant shields for law enforcement officers, and $17.1 million was allocated to school districts to purchase silent panic alert technology. A full description of how these funds will be allocated is included in the Governor’s press release.