DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — Six months after the STEM School shooting in Highlands Ranch, the Douglas County Commissioners’ Office announced a new plan to spend more than $13 million on school safety and mental health assistance.
This is a one-time expense for the county, with the biggest amount of money, $9 million, to be used for physical school safety, according to the commissioners’ office.
Sixty-eight percent of the funds will go to public schools, 14% to charter schools and 4% to private schools.
Douglas County’s funding was allocated by two advisory committees that have been meeting over the past two months. The money will be shared between 91 public schools, 15 charter schools and 8 private schools.
Of the $9 million being used for physical school safety, $7.68 million will go to schools that applied. $1.33 million will be used for innovation and emerging technology.
The commissioners’ office says every school that requested safety resources received funding from the county for communication, training, access control and enhanced building security.
About $990,000 will be used for mental health and social emotional learning tools. This includes a curriculum that builds resiliency, addresses bullying, suicide prevention and intervention programs. County officials said 100% of school funding requests were approved.
Roughly $3 million will be used in ongoing funding for school resource officers. This will increase the total number of officers from 11 during the 2018-2019 school year to 26 for the current school year — a 136% increase.
Finally, $300,000 will be used in ongoing support for a youth community response team.