In the aftermath of the Uvalde incident, the Texas Legislature, in collaboration with Governor Abbott, made a bipartisan effort to pass a comprehensive school safety package. This effort culminated in the passage of House Bill 3 (HB3), which allocated $1.1 billion to fund essential school safety upgrades.
On August 24, 2023, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) released guidelines for Cycle 1 of the 2023-2025 Safety and Facilities Enhancement (SAFE) Grant. This newly established grant program aims to distribute $800 million in funding to school districts, enabling them to implement security upgrades necessary to meet the new safety standards outlined in Chapter 61, Subchapter CC, 61.031 of the Commissioner’s Rules, as set forth by TEA.
Important Eligibility Criteria
To be considered for funding, eligible Texas public schools must adhere to criteria and deadlines of two distinct phases.
The initial requirement is for school districts to submit a needs assessment by September 21, 2023, at 11:59 PM Central Time. The needs assessment can be accessed on the SAFE Grant page, and a preview is also available on TEA’s official webpage. For any technical inquiries, please direct your questions to email@example.com.
TEA has specified that the following schools are eligible for Cycle 1:
- Local educational agencies (LEAs) that have applied for the 2022-2025 School Safety Standards Formula Grant and have certified that they do not comply with the adopted school safety standards outlined in Section B of the 2022-2025 School Safety Standards Formula Grant application.
- LEAs with a reported enrollment of at least one student from the October 2021 PEIMS Fall snapshot submission.
For any technical inquiries, please direct your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be aware that private schools and charter schools opening after September 20, 2023, are not eligible for this grant.
Upon reviewing the assessments submitted by TEA, each applicant will receive an allocation of funding tailored to their specific security needs. The school district will then be instructed to utilize the allocated amount to draft an application detailing how they intend to implement critical safety improvements. While the application has not been released at this time, preliminary information about the SAFE Grant is available. Additional details are expected to be published on TEA’s grant opportunities portal around October 20, 2023.
Currently, TEA has announced that the estimated deadline for Cycle 1 applications is November 20, 2023. However, we strongly encourage you to check back for updates as guidelines become available.
|TEA Silent Panic Alert Technology Standard
|“an alert capable of being triggered manually by campus staff”
|Compliant. Rave Panic Button empowers all staff on a school campus to activate alerts for various emergencies including, “Active Assailant”, “Fire”, “Medical, and ‘Police” emergencies.
|“an alert is triggered automatically in the event a district employee calls 911 from any location within the school system”
|Compliant. Rave Panic Button automatically triggers alerts anytime a button is pressed or 911 is called from within the app across the entire school campus. Rave can also send notifications to staff when a staff member dials “911” from the classroom landline.
|“with any alert generated, the location of where the alert originated shall be included”
|Compliant. The location of the activation will be sent via the alert to all recipients. A more precise location will be displayed in the Rave Command View for 911 and school leadership along with building floor plans overlaid on the map.
|“the alert notifies a set of designated school administrators as needed to provide confirmation of response, and if confirmed, notice is issued to law enforcement and emergency responder agencies of an emergency situation requiring a law enforcement and/or emergency response, and a notice can simultaneously be issued to all school staff of the need to follow appropriate emergency procedures”
|Compliant. Rave Panic Button can be configured to notify just a subset of school employees depending on the emergency (medical activation only will notify school nurse, and administration) while other buttons like “Active Assailant” and “Fire” will trigger notifications to all staff and emergency responder agencies.
|“for any exterior doors that features electronic locking mechanisms that allow for remote locking, the alert system will trigger those doors to automatically lock and to automatically notify relevant campus staff of any door where the lock cannot engage”
|Complaint. Rave Panic Button can trigger 3rd party systems to activate such as remote locking access control systems, mass notification systems, PA systems, digital signage, and more using the FEMA industry standard CAP (Common Alerting Protocol). This is provided at no extra cost. Rave can work with your vendor to make sure it is compatible and integrated properly.
Under this grant program, expenses related to the Rave Panic Button are considered eligible. To learn more about the Rave Panic Button and its essential features, such as status checks, internal staff assistance, and desktop notifications for PC and Mac users, please refer to the relevant information. Additionally, for more details on TEA’s panic button requirements, you can consult their Q&A section on this subject. Furthermore, you can explore information regarding Alyssa’s Law and school safety funding programs specific to your state.