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Locks on every exterior door at every school in Texas to be checked before school resumes this fall

TEA Commissioner Mike Morath was among those called to testify in front of a marathon state Senate committee hearing.

DALLAS — The commissioner of the Texas Education Agency says locks on every exterior door of every school campus in Texas will be checked to ensure they are functioning before the fall semester begins.

Commissioner Mike Morath testified Tuesday, at the first hearing of the state Senate committee created in the wake of the deadliest school shooting in Texas history.

Morath said there are about 340,000 exterior doors on Texas schools, and all will be reviewed.

The hearing began with lengthy, compelling testimony from the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety

RELATED: At special Texas Senate committee hearing, Texas DPS director says he doesn't believe Uvalde classrooms doors were locked

He called the police response an “abject failure,” and provided a revised timeline about what happened. More about DPS Director Steve McCraw’s testimony can be read here.

He was in front of the committee for about five hours and laid much of the blame on Uvalde Consolidated ISD Police Chief Pete Arredondo.

Morath testified about policies and procedures in place at the agency that offers guidance to more than 1,200 school districts in Texas.

He revealed the shooter began having chronic absences in the sixth grade.

Morath was asked if districts have enough tools to properly handle students who exhibit troubling signs.

RELATED: Key takeaways from Tuesday's Uvalde hearing

He told senators that programs need to be expanded and more funding is needed.

He also warned instituting methods to harden schools, as has been a focus of state lawmakers, will be expensive.

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