Public Comment on Jeffco Funding Safety and Security

ICYMI, Shawna’s public comment from the Jeffco Schools Board of Education meeting on August 23rd, pertaining to Amendment 73, bond, and mill initiatives for Jeffco:

On October 4th you will be receiving a formal presentation from the Jeffco Safety and Security Task Force. Several of us who serve on this task force are here tonight to demonstrate how important we believe this work to be.

While our Jeffco Security team is known nationally as the Gold Standard and should be recognized for their incredible work, we have a lot of room to grow and it will be expensive.

Our Task Force has been working together since June 4th with multiple meetings of 2 and ½ hours each and more time outside of meeting. We were tasked with the mission of reviewing current procedures and resources, national standards and state standards, best practices, looking at school safety from all angles and perspectives, and then providing recommendations we can agree on and support.

We are a diverse group of Jeffco community members, parents, educators, and law enforcement professionals, totaling 43 people. Our backgrounds and experience vary, as have our opinions of what’s required to keep our children and staff safe. We’ve done our research and no one has taken this work lightly.

Many of the recommendations put forth by our committee may need to take precedence over other budgetary items you may be considering if there is not an infusion of new funding. It is difficult to advocate for our work without having estimated dollar amounts to provide. We are anxious to see those estimates from staff due to us by September 5th.

To be clear, we recognize and appreciate Jeffco’s Safety and Security team. Our community is truly blessed to have such expertise and dedication. Not to mention the strong working relationships they have developed with our law enforcement partners. We rely on those partners, at their expense, for SRO coverage in many of our schools, saving the district significant dollars.

We believe the safety and security of our schools must be a priority – a budget priority. And as you take into consideration funding options: Amendment 73, a bond, or possible mill levy override – at the risk of being redundant, safe and secure schools for our children and staff will be expensive but they must be a priority.