Burnaby crossing guard program under review
With funding no longer covering costs, Burnaby school district's adult crossing guard program is currently under review.
"The allocation of adult crossing guards is based on a priority rating system developed by the City of Burnaby and no longer fully meets the needs of the district," according to the minutes of Tuesday's meeting of the district's buildings and grounds committee.
The program, which provides adult crossing guards at 26 sites, has been funded by Burnaby city hall since September 1998. While the $205,000 in annual funding originally covered the full cost of the program, it has increasingly been subsidized by the district due to increased costs.
In 2011-2012, the shortfall amounted to $31,432 and was covered by the district's operating budget.
School board chair Baljinder Narang said in an interview that over the past 14 to 15 years, the costs of the program have gone up due to inflation and wage increases.
Over the years, traffic patterns have also changed and in the cases of some schools, pedestrian signals have been installed, Narang said.
"There have been a lot of changes and we thought it's an expensive program and we're very fortunate that the city's actually helping us pay for it," she said. "We need to be very vigilant about how we use that resource for the community."
The review will look at what the program does, how the services are delivered and if it's being done in the most effective way possible.
"Since the city has been our supporter in this it's only right that we consult with them and make sure that we are working together and that support is being put to good use," she said.
The review will also look at whether crossing guards are needed at other school sites.
However, says the meeting minutes, "The addition of a new adult crossing guard location would further increase the funding shortfall or would require the removal of an adult crossing guard from an existing location."
Burnaby school district staff will conduct the review of the program and consult with the City of Burnaby and report back to the committee.