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County commissioners provide boost for school mental health and get updated on property tax relief

Bexar County Courthouse
Brian Kirkpatrick
Bexar County Courthouse

Bexar County Commissioners on Tuesday approved nearly $7 million for local schools to boost mental health services for students in the wake of last year's elementary school shooting in Uvalde.

Many Uvalde residents said the shooting may have been prevented if the teenage shooter had received mental health treatment before it happened.

Commissioners approved the funding for the Edgewood, Northside, Somerset, and the South Side school districts through 2026 to boost mental health services to help prevent future violence in schools.

County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez said the local action does not let the state legislature off the hook, however, when it comes to passing gun control legislation. He hoped state lawmakers will also increase similar funding for schools.

"I hope that our friends in the legislature are listening and watching what we are doing here at the local level," he said. "I know that some of them are pushing for more resources for teachers. I hope that also trickles down to counselors and social workers."

The funding for schools comes from federal COVID-19 relief dollars and followed a previous funding round involving millions to the San Antonio, Harlandale, South San, and East Central school districts for the same purpose.

in other action, the county's director of governmental affairs briefed county commissioners on the latest on the Texas governor's plans for property tax relief.

Melissa Shannon works to push through legislation that would benefit county government or its residents.

She told commissioners the state legislature may pass some sort of property tax relief, just not the amount Gov. Greg Abbott proposed. He wants half of the $33 billion state budget surplus sent back to property taxpayers.

"They've got constitutional spending caps on that so the legislature can't quite go to half." Shannon told commissioners.

She told commissioners the governor's office appeared to be planning a big announcement during an address at 7 p.m. on Feb. 16 that may involve property tax relief.

In other action, commissioners:

  • Voted to proceed with plans for the construction of a new Precinct Four administration office on Rocket Lane. The project, valued at $14.7 million, would include drive through lanes for property taxpayers. Commissioners set aside another $900,000 in contingency funding.
  • Approved a nearly $5 million project to improve Spurs Ranch Road, between North Cagnon Road and Highway 90 on the far West Side. It includes road reconstruction, curbs and sidewalks.
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