It's back to school this week for students in Galveston ISD. The district's approximately 7,000 students return to class amidst new school safety concerns raised in the wake of the Santa Fe High School shooting massacre. "Of course being a parent of children, I'm very concerned about school safety," says Galveston County Judge Mark Henry. He tells KTRH that several campuses in his county will have a new armed security presence. "The county runs the school liaison officer program, to provide armed security for schools that request a contract with us," he says. "And we've gotten requests for and approved 24 new positions for Clear Creek ISD, Texas City ISD and Dickinson ISD."
Security isn't the only issue facing schools in Galveston. Growth continues to be a challenge for all campuses. "Galveston County is definitely growing by leaps and bounds," says Henry. "We expect our census in two years to come in around 325,000 people, and that's up from about 260,000 when I got elected in 2010."
That rapid growth has prompted passage of two new bond measures in Galveston County this year, the largest one in Clear Creek ISD. "It includes 499 million dollars for new schools and the things they need to keep up with the growth," says Henry. Galveston ISD also passed a bond measure of its own this year, for $31 million. It will fund 18 separate projects covering building improvements, technology, safety and security.