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CO School Safety Panel Spends $25K, Does Little

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In early 2017, Heidi Ganahl sent an email to fellow members of Colorado’s School Safety and Youth in Crisis Committee, which had met the year before and was scheduled to meet again that year. Ganahl, a University of Colorado regent, never heard back. The committee had adjourned unceremoniously in the fall of 2016 and would never meet again, the Denver Post reports. The committee, which was to meet for several years and craft up to five bills, met for 14 months and didn’t recommend a single piece of legislation. The Colorado General Assembly then created a second school safety committee. Both committees were created just after school shootings.

Members of the previous school safety committee say it spent time and taxpayer money without clear aims. They candidly spoke of their frustration with its term-limited leadership and its lack of production. “It was very frustrating,” said former Rep. Yeulin Willett. “I don’t know why all that happened. As a longtime litigator and then a somewhat politician, I have suspicions there really wasn’t the political will to do anything more or explore more at that time. That’s why it kind of died on the vine.” The School Safety and Youth in Crisis Committee is alive only on paper. It will be formally ended July 1, nearly three years after its last meeting. New members were added last year but never met. The committee’s Twitter account never tweeted. Its final report was a few pages. It spent $24,826 in taxpayer money on travel and staff support.

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