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  81R10517 T
 
  By: Guillen H.B. No. 3868
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to school safety.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 37.212, Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Section 37.212.  INTERAGENCY COOPERATION.  The center
  shall:
               (1)  promote cooperation between state agencies, 
  institutions of higher education, and any local juvenile
  delinquency prevention councils to address discipline and safety
  issues in the state; and
               (2)  establish and develop criteria and minimum
  guidelines required for school districts to enter into memorandum
  of understanding and mutual aid agreements with local and regional
  authorities, including first responders.
         SECTION 2.  Section 7.009(a), Education Code is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  In coordination with the Legislative Budget Board, the
  agency shall establish an online clearinghouse of information
  relating to best practices of campuses and school districts
  regarding instruction, dropout prevention, public school finance,
  resource allocation, safety, transportation, and business
  practices.  To the extent practicable, the agency shall ensure that
  information provided through the online clearinghouse is specific,
  actionable information relating to the best practices of
  high-performing and highly efficient campuses and school districts
  rather than general guidelines relating to campus and school
  district operation.  The information must be accessible by
  campuses, school districts, and interested members of the public.
         SECTION 3.  Section 34.012, Education Code: is amended to
  read as follows:
         Section 34.012.  THREE-POINT SEAT BELT INSTRUCTION;
  INFORMATION CLEARINGHOUSE.  (a)  In coordination with the
  Clearinghouse established under Section 7.009, Education Code, the
  State Board of Education shall develop and make available to each
  school district a program of instruction in the proper use of a
  three-point seat belt.
         (b)  The Clearinghouse [State Board of Education] shall
  serve as a clearinghouse of best practices for school districts
  seeking the most efficient and sensible information regarding
  school bus safety, including possible compliance with Section
  547.701, Transportation Code, using school buses originally
  purchased without seat belts.
         SECTION 4.  Section 37.202, Education Code is amended to
  read as follows:
         Section 37.202.  PURPOSE.  The purpose of the center is to
  serve as:
               (1)  a central location for school safety information,
  including research, training, and technical assistance related to
  successful school safety programs; [and]
               (2)  a resource for the prevention of youth violence
  and the promotion of safety in the state; and
               (3)  provide school safety recommendations to the Texas
  Education Agency and State Board of Education.
         SECTION 5.  Section 547.701, Transportation Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         Section 537.701.  ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR
  SCHOOL BUSES.  (a)  A school bus shall be equipped with:
               (1)  a convex mirror or other device that reflects to
  the school bus operator a clear view of the area immediately in
  front of the vehicle that would otherwise be hidden from view; [and]
               (2)  signal lamps that:
                     (A)  are mounted as high and as widely spaced
  laterally as practicable;
                     (B)  display four alternately flashing red
  lights, two located on the front at the same level and two located
  on the rear at the same level; and
                     (C)  emit a light visible at a distance of 500 feet
  in normal sunlight; and
               (3)  movable stop arms:
                     (A)  that conform to regulations adopted under
  Section 34.002, Education Code; and
                     (B)  that may be operated only when the bus is
  stopped to load or unload students.
         (b)  A school bus may be equipped with:
               (1)  rooftop warning lamps:
                     (A)  that conform to and are placed on the bus in
  accordance with specifications adopted under Section 34.002,
  Education Code; and
                     (B)  that are operated under rules adopted by the
  school district; and
               (2)  a safety device recommended by the Texas School
  Safety Center[movable stop arms:
                     [(A)     that conform to regulations adopted under
  Section 34.002, Education Code; and
                     [(B)     that may be operated only when the bus is
  stopped to load or unload students].
         (c)  When a school bus is being stopped or is stopped on a
  highway to permit students to board or exit the bus, the operator of
  the bus shall activate all flashing warning signal lights and other
  equipment on the bus designed to warn other drivers that the bus is
  stopping to load or unload children. A person may not operate such a
  light or other equipment except when the bus is being stopped or is
  stopped on a highway to permit students to board or exit the bus.
         (d)  The exterior of a school bus may not bear advertising or
  another paid announcement directed at the public if the advertising
  or announcement distracts from the effectiveness of required safety
  warning equipment. The department shall adopt rules to implement
  this subsection. A school bus that violates this section or rules
  adopted under this section shall be placed out of service until it
  complies.
         SECTION 6.  EFFECTIVE DATE. This Act takes effect
  immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members
  elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas
  Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for
  immediate effect, the Act takes effect September 1, 2009.