Shreveport City Council discusses how to keep children safe as they walk to school and who should foot the bill.
Council members are still debating how to pay for school crossing guards and if the school district should be paying more.
When looking at the Shreveport city budget, Councilman Jerry Bowman proposed making a 75-thousand dollar cut to school crossing guards and have the school district pay that instead. Right now, the city provides about 260-thousand dollars for 92 part time positions.
“If we’re paying almost a quarter of a million and their only paying eleven-thousand, I only asked for them to recoup 75-thousand. I didn’t ask for the crossing guards to be taken away. I just wanted them to help us on the budget side of it,” Bowman said.
Councilman Willie Bradford disagrees and said of all the items in the budget, why cut crossing guards? He wants to wait to find a compromise with the school district.
“I just think it was disingenuous for us to say we want to save money and let’s see what can we save? Let’s cut crossing guards. I’m saying if something happens to a young person on the streets of Shreveport where they don’t have assistance getting across the street from school, the whole 270-thousand would not be enough to pay that negligence on our part,” Bradford said.
Police Chief Ben Raymond was tasked with coming up with options for the council. He came back with three. The City could contract the work, but it would cost 30-thousand dollars. They could have public works take over, but that process could take more than year-and-a half. Or option three, which council members favored, to have Chief Raymond first meet with a crossing guard supervisor to narrow down areas in town where crossing guards may not be needed.
The council will wait to see how that option pans out and wait until summertime before making any changes.