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School Access To Interoperable Communication Technology

Concerning measures to increase school district access to interoperable communication technology to improve school safety.
2018 Regular Session
Education & School Finance (Pre & K-12)
Telecommunications & Information Technology

The bill creates the school access for emergency response grant program (grant program) in the division of local government (division) in the department of local affairs (department). The purpose of the grant program is to provide funding for interoperable communication hardware, software, equipment maintenance, and training to allow for seamless communications between existing school communications systems and first responder communications systems. Grant recipients may use the money received through the grant program to provide training in procedures for effective communications with first responders in an emergency, to update school crisis management plans, and to work with the vendor selected by the chief information officer in the office of information technology to make specified upgrades in connection with interoperable communications abilities.

The division is required to administer the grant program and, subject to available appropriations, award grants to be paid from the grant program fund. The director of the division is required to implement the grant program and to promulgate rules necessary to implement the grant program.

To receive a grant, a school district, school, charter school of the district, institute charter school, or state charter school institute must submit an application, including specified information, to the division. The director of the division is required to review the applications received and consider certain criteria in awarding the grants. Each grant recipient is required to submit a report to the division and the department is required to provide an annual update to the general assembly regarding the grant program.

The bill creates the grant program cash fund in the state treasury, which consists of a specified amount of money that the state treasurer transfers to the fund for each of the next 6 fiscal years.

In addition, the chief information officer is required to retain a vendor to provide an interoperable communication technology solution for use by grant recipients The chief information officer is required to solicit vendors to provide the interoperable communication technology and to select a vendor to provide the interoperable communication technology solution by a specified date.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)


Under Consideration

Bill Text


Sponsor Type Legislators
Prime Sponsor

Sen. D. Coram, Sen. L. Garcia
Rep. M. Catlin, Rep. C. Duran