SHREVEPORT, La (KTAL/KMSS) The Shreveport City Council approves reducing funding for school crossing guards at intersections across Shreveport. This happened in a 6-1 vote during Tuesday’s meeting.
Caddo Schools released this statement:
“The action taken by the City Council was done without involving any member of Caddo Schools or the Caddo Parish School Board in conversations before presuming the district would absorb the increased costs.
Public safety on city streets is not the jurisdiction of a school district. This is the function of a City and its police department. Our district does not have the authority to police neighborhoods nor the funds to incur this additional cost.
As the City Council’s vote was taking place, our own Board was meeting to discuss how to address budget concerns which have plagued districts across Louisiana. Our Board and leadership team is committed to maintaining resources in our classrooms and providing opportunities for our students even amid a shortfall in revenue. In difficult budget times, we have been forced to make hard decisions. We cannot in good faith incur a cost which does not belong to the district and cannot be maintained within our operations.
We believe much of this conversation could have taken place prior to today’s decision. The City Council throughout this discussion has chosen to exclude the district from conversations and has stated that district staff and school board leadership were invited to meetings in which they were not. As governmental bodies, we believe there is great work to be done when we work together and look forward to opportunities to collaboratively move forward to enhance our community.”
There are on average 92 part-time school crossing guards in Shreveport. The crossing guards work near public and private schools. The city provides $260,800 for funding. Caddo Parish Public Schools pays $11,096.
Earlier this month, Councilman Jerry Bowman explained that the City of Shreveport wanted help with the funding and should conduct a study to see how many crossing guards are actually needed to align with the city’s shifting and changing population.
After the May public safety committee meeting, Bowman told KTAL/KMSS school district officials were invited to discuss the matter.
“It seems as if they don’t want to come to the table. They’ve been invited. This isn’t the first time. This is the second time they’ve been invited. They said they wanted to have a meeting. They wanted to talk about it, but we haven’t seen anyone step up.”