AUSTIN, Texas -- Some Texas teachers say the solution to safer schools is tied to more money, not arming more educators as has been proposed by President Trump.
"It's a bad idea that seems not to want to go away. You don't reduce gun violence in schools by putting more guns into schools," said Clay Robison, a spokesperson for the Texas State Teachers Association.
Around 170 school districts in Texas already allow their teachers to have a firearm in the classroom under state law. But rather than growing this number, some suggest spending more on other safety measures.
"If we want to beef up school police departments, that's an issue we can support," Robison said. "But that's a budgetary issue. And the legislature already underfunds the public schools."
Meanwhile, the Texas School Safety Center, which trains Texas educators, had its budget cut. Last legislative session, lawmakers slashed funding to the center by about 30 percent.
The Texas School Safety Center issued a statement, saying in part:
"Although this impacted staffing levels and operations at the Texas School Safety Center, the center remains committed to providing Texas school districts with quality training, resources, best practices, and technical assistance as best we can with available resources. We support Governor Abbott’s call to action to continue to improve our school safety and security measures in Texas, and stand ready to lead any and all efforts toward that end."
Meanwhile, San Antonio Democratic State Senator José Menéndez has been working to restore the funding cuts made to the Texas School Safety Center.
A spokesman said Menéndez wants to meet with Gov. Abbott on the issue, and has been speaking to the Legislative Budget Board about potential funding solutions.
But gun advocates say arming more teachers and other school staff can be a low-cost measure that'll help protect schools.
"I certainly wouldn't expect every teacher in a particular school to be armed. It's going to be a voluntary process," said Alice Tripp, a lobbyist with the Texas State Rifle Association.
Gun advocates like Tripp said it'll be another line of protection in the event of a school shooting.
"And they're simply defense. There's not going to be confusion," Tripp said.
But as the debate over guns in schools rages on, the way to best protect Texas students still remains unclear.