EDITORIAL: Ballot Questions 4A and 4B: Yes on 2 measures desperately needed for Cherry Creek Schools

2062

Few government services have been hit harder by the pandemic crisis than public schools. Cherry Creek Schools is no exception.

Even before the pandemic hit Colorado, the school district was facing severe financial problems as state payments fell and the cost of providing education to an increasingly diverse community pushed higher than ever.

The pandemic has created a nearly ruinous situation for Cherry Creek and other school districts. Falling state revenues will mean certain drastic drops in funding. This comes at a time when aging schools need more than ever, especially when schools must accommodate the challenges of social distancing and increased maintenance.

Among the growing number of crises and challenges schools must meet every day, is the vast need for mental health services. Cherry Creek plans to use $7 million of this combined $185 proposed bond issue and operating cost increase to build a mental health center that can serve all students in the district.

Superintendent Scott Siegfried says it may be the most important money spent from the request. We agree.

Every day, the need grows greater for students to find help to solve mental health problems that will shape their lives, and sometimes even end them. Teachers are flooded with the effects of a growing number of students who need anything from better coping skills to full-on intensive diagnosis and treatment.

Cherry Creek Schools has built one of the most successful and resilient public schools programs in the nation. Ignoring their plea to continue to push for “better” would be wrong on several levels. The district is asking for modest support that would cost the owner of a $400,000 home less than $7 a month in new property taxes. It’s money not just well spent, but well invested in the schools and the community. Vote yes on Questions 4A and 4B.