School Safety

Superintendent Galaviz Dear Canutillo Community,

The Canutillo Independent School District is ready to welcome our 6,000 back to school on Monday and we are excited to start the 2023-24 academic year. As always, on top of our focus on academics and extracurricular activities, our priorities remain in maintaining safe campuses where students can concentrate on learning rather than worrying about their security. The Texas Legislature this past session approved House Bill 3 to address safety in schools. This bill is the state’s response to the tragic massacre in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary.

The new requirements approved by state lawmakers include such things like requiring school districts to place an armed police officer at every campus as well as other audits and procedures to strengthen safety. Canutillo ISD welcomes the additional guidance and focus for student security and we are well on our way to meeting all state mandates outlined in the bill.

Thanks to the hard work of our Canutillo ISD Police Department, our schools are better positioned to respond to an emergency than most school systems in the state. Chief Kluge, along with his officers and guards, have done a commendable job of preparing our students, staff and community for any unforeseeable event. We pray that it will never come, but if one day a violent act does come, we know our schools have the training to respond.

What is unfortunate, though, is that once again it is up to school districts to figure out how we are going to afford the additional mandates that are coming down from the state. House Bill 3 places a burden on the budgets of school districts that are already strapped for cash, and unfortunately – when it comes to the safety of students – it is not an option to ignore these rules. The superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District, Dr. Stephanie Elizalde, this week tweeted something that resonated with me.

She said that the Texas Legislature “increased school safety funding by 28 cents per student” and that she “can’t get a key made for 28 cents.”

As you can see, the additional requirements to add personnel, locks, lights and other expensive protocols to our school system will have to eat into our budget … the same budget that already is $3 million short because legislators couldn’t come together to use the billions of dollars in surplus money they have to give teachers a pay raise.

The governor and state lawmakers continue to make school districts the boogeyman when it comes to funding. We continue to fall victim to cuts in revenue and funding and we are expected to meet new rules and regulations that add fiscal burden to our systems without additional funding.

I want to reassure our parents that we will do everything in our power to continue to create safe learning environments. A student who feels safe inside a classroom is a student who learns effectively. This remains a priority. But it is also time for us as parents and educators to demand more from our legislators. Write, call and speak with your state representatives and senators and make sure you tell them to make public education a priority. Our kids deserve it.

See you on Monday for the start of the school year. Our teachers and principals, as always, will come through no matter what to give the children of Canutillo a world-class education.

Let’s have a great year!

Pedro Galaviz
Superintendent of Schools