School district will fund crossing guards

Published 8:22 am Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Adult crossing guards for Austin grade-schoolers will be funded by Austin Public Schools this year as the city looks to ultimately transfer all responsibility for the program to the district.

This according to a report from city administrator Jim Hurm presented to city council Monday that details how and when that transfer will take place.

The school district, which previously only paid for $2,000 of the program annually, will take up the full $13,000 price tag, save for any administrative costs.

Email newsletter signup

However, the city will still manage the program and handle payroll until the school district completely takes over, which is expected by the 2010-11 school year.

The city had decided to drop funding for the program earlier this year, but a number of concerned parents voiced their thoughts to council during a meeting right after the first day of school — a day which had no guards on the streets.

The guards typically had patrolled four of the busiest intersections in town — Fourth Street and Seventh Avenue northwest, 12th Street and Third Avenue southwest, Oakland Avenue and 15th Street, and 12th Street and 19th Avenue southwest.

City officials said they didn’t deny the program’s importance, but had cut funding because they felt the district should be responsible.

At the Sept. 8 meeting, the council approved temporary, month-long funding so a solution could be found.

On Monday, the council reacted positively to the agreement between the city and the district.

Council member Jeff Austin said it’s “what we wanted” when the city decided to cut funding.

Added council member Janet Anderson: “It looks like a good compromise to me.”