Texas Schools Push to Change Bus Evacuation Drill Law

AUSTIN, Texas
Published: March 4, 2009

Lawmakers have filed bills to change the state’s school bus evacuation drill requirement after reportedly receiving complaints from school districts.

Texas passed a law in 2007 requiring that schools perform two evacuation drills each year, but according to an article in the Dallas Morning News, school administrators say that the drills take away from valuable classroom time and pose a logistical burden, particularly for smaller school districts that do not provide regular bus service.

As a result, legislators have filed 11 bills that would modify the requirement, either reducing the mandatory drills to once annually or repealing them altogether.

A bill filed by Rep. Helen Giddings would make drills optional, specifying that if schools elect to provide training, it must meet the standards set by the Department of Public Safety. Sen. John Carona filed a bill that would reduce the requirement to just one drill each year. Both measures have been referred to legislative committees for review.

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