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House Advances State School Protections

By Shelley Kofler, KERA News

Dallas, TX – The Texas House today gave tentative approval to a bill that will increase security and oversight of the state's 13 schools for the mentally disabled.

Governor Rick Perry declared the legislation an emergency issue after a federal investigation found civil rights abuses. The issue gained further attention after allegations that employees of the Corpus Christi state school forced disabled residents to fight each other.

Bill Sponsor Rep. Able Herrero of Robstown told lawamakers the legislation will provide schools with surveillance cameras, employee background checks, and better staff training.

The House must take a final vote on the bill before lawmakers work out differences between it and a similar Senate Bill.

Email Shelley Kofler