State Lawmakers Approve Emergency Funding For School Inspection

Nearly $350,000 To Help Hire More School Inspectors

A recent state audit has prompted lawmakers to pass an emergency funding of $349,000 to help hire more school building inspectors to make sure public schools are safe for kids and teachers.

"The building code mandates what inspections need to be performed so it was an eye-opener to find out that they had not been performed," said state school inspector Joseph Montoya.

Montoya said at one point, the state only had one inspector for all public schools not including Denver, Aurora, and Grand Junction.

"There was not enough resources to perform the inspections," said Montoya.

Public schools have to go through the state to get a building permit if they want to remodel the school or have a construction project. That means, a state school inspector is suppose to help monitor the process and do check-ups before issuing the permits.

State leaders say the extra money is only a temporary fix.

"Ultimately, we want the confidence from the public in our inspection program," said executive director of the Department of Labor and Employment, Don Mares.

Mares said they're proposing to ease the current rules by allowing school districts to have the option to take over the inspection responsibility. The state would still make sure the inspectors are certified and meet all state requirements.

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