In the weeks and months after the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Tex., last May that left 19 children and two teachers dead, Gov. Greg Abbott promised more than $500 million worth of change. A year later, the state still hasn’t disbursed more than $100 million of that money. Only a small fraction of it has been put to use, reports the Austin American-Statesman. In a series of announcements between June and October, Abbott promised to transfer money to a dozen state agencies to support the Uvalde community, and to improve mental health access and school security across the state. “The state of Texas is acting swiftly,” Abbott said in the first announcement in June 2022.
Most Texas school districts and law enforcement agencies still don’t have the essential safety equipment they need. Many police officers still haven’t received specialized training and only a small fraction of the mental health funds promised after the Uvalde massacre have gone toward supporting Texas communities. "Our whole system is flawed and broken," said Sen. Roland Gutierrez, whose district includes Uvalde, after reviewing the American-Statesman's findings. "The way that these expenditures have failed to be executed is just an example (of) state agency directors' and this governor's lack of urgency." While some delays in disbursing and spending money tied with the hiring, vetting and training of new personnel are inevitable, budget and government spending experts said other lags are unwarranted, and should have been predicted and avoided.