Shreveport cuts spending on school crossing guards

Caddo School District: “Our district does not have the authority to police neighborhoods nor the funds to incur this additional cost"
For decades the Shreveport Police Department has shouldered nearly all the costs. But there's...
For decades the Shreveport Police Department has shouldered nearly all the costs. But there's now an effort to change that arrangement.
Updated: May. 28, 2019 at 10:51 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Shreveport City Council members voted 6-1 Tuesday to pay $75,000 less each year toward school crossing guards.

Currently, the Police Department pays more than $270,000 a year for crossing guards near Caddo public schools.

The School District’s share is just more than $12,000.

In 2018, the Police Department spent $271,550 for the salaries of 92 part-time school crossing guards (unclassified, part-time positions).

For 2019, the Police Department budgeted $260,800. Caddo School District paid $11,960.

The crossing guard expense has been funded by the city for many years.

Soon after the City Council’s vote Tuesday, the School District issued the following statement:

"On May 28, the Shreveport City Council in a 6-1 vote approved Ordinance 44 of 2019, which reduced access to crossing guards at intersections across Shreveport.

"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.”

Also Tuesday, City Council members introduced a measure that would increase fines for those who misuse handicapped parking spaces.

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