Texas Education Code 37.108 requires school districts to conduct safety and security audits of their facilities at least once every three years and to report the results to the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC).
The TxSSC has an established process to collect the safety and security audit results of K-12 school districts and open-enrollment charter districts through the District Audit Reporting Tool (DARtool) and Charter Audit Reporting Tool (CARtool). The reporting tools are sent to superintendents during the last year of each audit cycle. The current audit cycles and reporting periods for K-12 school districts and open-enrollment charter districts are below.
K-12 School Districts:
The current three-year safety and security audit cycle for K-12 school districts began on November 1, 2020 and will end on August 31, 2023. The reporting period for submitting audit results to the TxSSC during this audit cycle is from April 14, 2023 to September 15, 2023.
Open-Enrollment Charter Districts:
The current three-year safety and security audit cycle for open-enrollment charter districts began on September 1, 2022 and will end on August 31, 2025. The reporting period for submitting audit results to the TxSSC during this audit cycle is from April 14, 2025 to September 15, 2025.
School districts are not required to submit their audit results to the TxSSC outside of the referenced reporting periods. While school districts are statutorily required to conduct safety and security audits once every three years, the audit process should be ongoing and continuous.
In this toolkit, “district” or “school district” refers to both school districts and open-enrollment charter schools. Junior college districts may also be referred to as “districts” when citing statutes, however this toolkit is designed for school districts and charter schools as there is a Higher Education Safety and Security Audit Toolkit on the TxSSC website to address junior college safety and security audits.
For more information about Junior College audits, the TxSSC has created a separate toolkit linked below. This toolkit provides institutions of higher education with a model process for conducting ongoing safety and security assessments required under Texas Education Code §37.108. (Note: The link below will open in a new tab.)
The Texas Education Code 37.108 states:
While the term “audit” is included in TEC 37.108, the process developed by the TxSSC was designed as a self-assessment of a district’s safety and security. Audits should be an ongoing process with the aim of identifying hazards, threats, and vulnerabilities that might pose a danger to life or property or may interfere with a safe, secure and healthy environment that is conducive to teaching and learning. Attention to safety and security should not be thought of as an annual or a once every three-year event. Districts are encouraged to integrate ongoing safety and security assessments into everyday activities, including planning, training, and drilling of emergency procedures.
While state statute requires that at least once every three years, an audit of district facilities be conducted, safety and security may be enhanced by implementing ongoing identification and improvements. These proactive measures to make continual improvements should also make the three-year reporting more effective.