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  88R11716 JTZ-F
 
  By: Hefner H.B. No. 3614
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to allowing school districts to employ chaplains to
  perform the duties of school counselors.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 33.002, Education Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (d) to read as follows:
         (d)  Notwithstanding Subsections (b) and (c) or any other
  law, a school district may employ a chaplain instead of a school
  counselor to perform the duties required of a school counselor
  under this title. A chaplain employed under this subsection is not
  required to be certified by the State Board for Educator
  Certification.
         SECTION 2.  Section 48.115(b), Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  Funds allocated under this section must be used to
  improve school safety and security, including costs associated
  with:
               (1)  securing school facilities, including:
                     (A)  improvements to school infrastructure;
                     (B)  the use or installation of physical barriers;
  and
                     (C)  the purchase and maintenance of:
                           (i)  security cameras or other security
  equipment; and
                           (ii)  technology, including communications
  systems or devices, that facilitates communication and information
  sharing between students, school personnel, and first responders in
  an emergency;
               (2)  providing security for the district, including:
                     (A)  employing school district peace officers,
  private security officers, and school marshals; and
                     (B)  collaborating with local law enforcement
  agencies, such as entering into a memorandum of understanding for
  the assignment of school resource officers to schools in the
  district;
               (3)  school safety and security training and planning,
  including:
                     (A)  active shooter and emergency response
  training;
                     (B)  prevention and treatment programs relating
  to addressing adverse childhood experiences; and
                     (C)  the prevention, identification, and
  management of emergencies and threats, using evidence-based,
  effective prevention practices and including:
                           (i)  providing licensed counselors, social
  workers, chaplains, and individuals trained in restorative
  discipline and restorative justice practices;
                           (ii)  providing mental health personnel and
  support, including chaplains;
                           (iii)  providing behavioral health
  services, including services provided by chaplains;
                           (iv)  establishing threat reporting
  systems; and
                           (v)  developing and implementing programs
  focused on restorative justice practices, culturally relevant
  instruction, and providing mental health support, including
  support provided by chaplains; and
               (4)  providing programs related to suicide prevention,
  intervention, and postvention, including programs provided by
  chaplains.
         SECTION 3.  Each board of trustees of a school district and
  each governing body of an open-enrollment charter school shall take
  a record vote not later than six months after the effective date of
  this Act on whether to adopt a policy authorizing a campus of the
  district or school to hire a chaplain under Section 33.002(d),
  Education Code, as added by this Act.
         SECTION 4.  This Act applies beginning with the 2023-2024
  school year.
         SECTION 5.  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, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2023.