Cruz to introduce bill adding safety improvements, mental health professionals in schools

WASHINGTON DC (CBSDFW.COM) – US Senator Ted Cruz said his bill would spend billions of dollars to make schools safer in Texas and across the country.

In an interview with CBS 11 on Tuesday, Senator Cruz said, “I think that’s a priority and I think we need to invest in keeping our kids safe.”

Under the Making Our Schools Safer Act of 2022, Cruz is asking for $15 billion to double the number of school resource officers, $10 billion to hire 15,000 middle and high school mental health professionals and $2.56 billion to improve physical security on school campuses.

The legislation comes nearly four months after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde left 19 students and two teachers dead and 17 others injured.

Cruz said, “Having extra police on campus who can protect your daughter, your son, who can arrest someone who commits a horrific violent crime before they walk into the school, nothing is more effective than the law enforcement agencies physically present there. .”

He said schools needed help identifying troubled young men.

“There are warning signs that if you had a mental health professional hopefully some of these crimes could be stopped before they happen,” Cruz said.

Additionally, Cruz said his proposal provides $540 million in FEMA security grants for nonprofits, including places of worship.

This follows the hostage-taking at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville in January.

Rabbi Charlie Cytron Walker and three synagogue members escaped physically unharmed after a British national held them at gunpoint for most of the day.

Senator Cruz said his measure would be fully funded using $30.5 billion in unspent Covid-19 education-related funds, which is more than $135 billion.

U.S. Representative Randy Weber, a Republican who represents the Gulf Coast of Texas, proposed a bill using all that money for school safety.

“I’m focused on legislation that would actually end these crimes and that legislation would do more to keep children safe in Texas and across the country than any legislation before the Senate today.”

While Cruz seeks unanimous consent when he presents his measure to the Senate this week, he said it could be blocked.

“I have been informed that a Democratic senator intends to come forward to oppose the bill and I look forward to that debate,” Cruz said.

CBS 11 called Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday afternoon to confirm that Democrats will block the bill. But no one returned the call.

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