Safe and Supportive Schools Program (SSSP) and the Annual School Safety Allotment Expenditures Reporting
|Date:||September 30, 2021|
|Subject:||Safe and Supportive Schools Program (SSSP) and the Annual School Safety Allotment Expenditures Reporting|
|Next Steps:||Share with appropriate school safety staff|
SSSP Data Collection Updates
Pursuant to Texas Education Code (TEC), Section 37.115(k), SSSP team members are required to report data on the team's assessment activities and outcomes to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in accordance with guidance provided by TEA. Due to the impacts of the pandemic, TEA has been phasing in the data collection requirements from Senate Bill (SB) 11 of the 86th legislative session in order to reduce the burden on local educational agencies (LEAs). Accordingly, the November 2021 data collection survey for LEAs will be the same as those items reported in November 2020. TEA also anticipates both the mandatory and optional data elements from the November 2021 survey will be mandatory in November 2022, and LEAs are advised that they should begin compiling this information during the 2021– -2022 school year.
Annual School Safety Allotment Expenditures Reporting
The sixth pillar of the SSSP requires team members to support facility safety and security. With the passage of SB 11, the 86th Legislature created an annual school safety allotment to help fund equipment, programs and training related to school safety and security. More recently, the 87th Legislature enacted House Bill (HB) 1525 that included a provision requiring TEA to publish an annual report regarding the programs, personnel, resources and other purposes section for which the funds were used by LEAs. To meet this statutory requirement, TEA is adding school safety allotment expenditure questions that LEAs must answer during the November 2022 SSSP data collection survey for the 2021 –2022 school year. Accordingly, LEAs should begin gathering and collecting information and tracking all expenditures of their school safety allotment for the 2022 fiscal year. If funds were expended on items not listed in the survey, LEAs should account for those expenditures under the “other expenditures” question in the survey. The November 2022 SSSP and school safety allotment survey can be found at the following link.
Safe and Supportive Schools Program Reminders
School district and open-enrollment charter school administrators are reminded that Texas Education Code (TEC) §37.115(f)(1) and (2), require SSSP teams to conduct behavioral threat assessments of individuals who make threats of violence or exhibit harmful, threatening, or violent behavior in accordance with the policies and procedures adopted by each LEA. LEA procedures must be consistent with the model policies and procedures developed by Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) and TEA.
The behaviors for which the teams must conduct an assessment are defined under TEC, §37.115(a)(1) and include threats of violence or exhibiting harmful, threatening, or violent behavior. In addition, when a team identifies a student at serious risk of suicide, a team must immediately report this determination to the superintendent who will immediately attempt to notify the parent/guardian. A team identifying a student at risk of suicide must act in accordance with the LEA’s suicide prevention program policies and procedures. If a student at risk of suicide also makes a threat of violence to others, the team shall conduct a behavioral threat assessment in addition to actions taken in accordance with the LEA’s suicide prevention program, policies and procedures.
LEAs must also continue to gather and analyze data to determine the level of risk and appropriate interventions for each threat assessed. (See data collection updates above.)
It should also be noted that the 87th Legislature relaxed the expertise requirements for the composition of SSSP teams. Section 3 of HB 3597 amended TEC, Section 37.115(d), to read as follows:
The superintendent of the district shall ensure, to the greatest extent practicable, that the members appointed to each team have expertise in counseling, behavior management, mental health and substance use, classroom instruction, special education, school administration, school safety and security, emergency management, and law enforcement.