Colorado continues to fall further behind the national average for school funding, and this crisis was exacerbated by the pandemic. At a time when mental health is top of mind for so many, Colorado’s students rarely have access to mental health professionals in their schools.

Many students are still recovering from the effects of isolation. School counselors don’t always have the time to focus on mental health issues because they have so many students on their caseload.

Better funding of our schools will also help us ensure access to mental health services for students who need them and address the youth mental health crisis that was exacerbated by the pandemic. More than 1 in 5 school-aged children have experienced worsened mental or emotional health since the pandemic began, but our counselor-to-student ratio hasn’t kept pace.

We will know our schools are fully funded when we can increase access to comprehensive mental health and other support services so desperately needed by our children.

News From the Campaign:

Colorado Sun: What does the future of Colorado school funding look like? Here are the questions hanging over districts.

Education advocates and district leaders say that they won’t know how individual districts will fare until they see the full details of McCluskie’s legislation. But some are worried. McCluskie has met with school district leaders in recent weeks after drafting at least three school funding proposals. One of her proposals sparked more questions than answers … Continued

CPR: State leaders celebrate end of school budget shortfalls but some districts worry about the future of funding

For many school districts across Colorado, much of this year’s legislative session has come with swells of emotion, starting with a long-awaited moment of celebration when lawmakers and Gov. Jared Polis committed to funding districts to the level required by the state constitution for the first time since the Great Recession. Even while fulfilling that … Continued

CPR: Colorado educators call for change of a system ‘on the brink of crisis’

Years of school underfunding, an accountability system that erodes trust in educators, rising mental health issues in youth, and school violence are all playing into critical staffing shortages in Colorado’s schools. And educators are worried that other large, systemic issues connected to underfunding are hurting their students. That’s according to the annual State of Education … Continued