Exactly three weeks after the STEM School shooting the Board of Douglas County Commissioners, at their May 28 public hearing, unanimously approved a resolution appropriated $13.3 million for school security and mental health services for students in Douglas County.
Of the $13 million, the Board appropriated $10 million of unassigned General Fund balance as one-time funding for school safety , including entry-way security technology in schools, and mental health services for children.
Additional resolutions adopted by the Board establish two committees charged with making recommendations for the expenditure of the one-time $10 million – the Physical School Safety & Protection Funding Committee and the Supportive Mental Health for Students Funding Committee.
The Board recognizes the importance of receiving input from key partners, including the Douglas County School District, charter and private schools, Douglas County law enforcement, and citizens with expertise in physical school safety and mental health.
The Board established the Supportive Mental Health for Students Funding Committee to bring together subject matter experts and those with lived experience to make recommendations to the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners regarding the expenditure of a portion of a $10 million one-time allocation from the County for school-based mental health and related programs, and those where the school is partnering with community organizations to serve school-aged children and youth. It is the County’s intention, that one-time funds for mental health-related purposes in partnership with the schools and community will begin to be distributed at the beginning of the 2019/2020 school year.
The Committee is charged with determining what supportive school mental health and social-emotional initiatives, programs, services, and approaches really work and recommending those that could be supported, expanded or implemented with one-time funding from the County in partnership with the schools and the community. The Committee will make funding recommendations based on the programs or strategies endorsed by the Committee and based on the best available subject matter expertise and research. The Committee may also serve as a site selection committee for funding distribution based on recommended programs and strategies and funding levels as approved by the Board of County Commissioners.
The Committee shall be composed of nine members:
- Two (2) representing the School District
- Stephanie Crawford-Goetz, Director of Mental Health Services; Douglas County School District
- Keith Sousa, Lead Behavior Specialist, Douglas County School District
- One (1) representing a Charter or Private School
- Julie Felske, Psychologist/Counselor, Platte River Academy
- Three (3) appointed by the County
- Sarah Ericson (Chair), Director of the Diversion Counseling Program; Deputy District Attorney, 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office
- Doug Gray, Chief Probation Officer; 18th Judicial District
- Jason Hopcus, President/CEO, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) for Arapahoe/Douglas Counties
- Three (3) representing the Community, as recommended by the Douglas County Mental Health Initiative and confirmed by the Board of County Commissioners
- Sarah Davidon, Research Director, Mental Health Colorado
- Erin White, Social Worker and Site Director, Manna Connect; Douglas County School District Parent
- Mia Hayden and Melanie Zhou (rotating), co-founders, Oasis Mental Health; ThunderRidge High School
View Meeting Agendas / Minutes, click on the drop down box and select the Supportive Mental Health for Students Funding Committee.
The Supportive Mental Health for Students Funding Committee will work in June 2019 with a goal to formulate its recommendations and supporting documentation to the Board of County Commissioners by July 3, 2019, with a possible extension to July 15, 2019.
The Supportive Mental Health for Students Funding Committee will be disbanded no later than or shortly thereafter, the portion of the $10 million one-time funds dedicated for mental health programs and services are distributed and any necessary follow-up related to accountability or outcomes is collected.