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<br />Flores, Dora <br />From:Tim Johnson <> <br />Sent:Tuesday, July 20, 2021 8:29 AM <br />To:eComment; Sarmiento, Vicente; Mendoza, Nelida; Bacerra, Phil; Penaloza, David; <br />Lopez, Jessie; Hernandez, Johnathan; Phan, Thai <br />Cc:Ridge, Kristine; Mendoza, Steven <br />Subject:Agenda Item #24- School Crossing Guards <br />Council…Tonight as you consider item #24, I urge you to delay this vote until such a time that an agreement between the <br />City and the three local schools districts can be arrived at for cost sharing in providing crossing guards for our school <br />children. If it is impossible to delay the vote due to the school year starting in a few short weeks, I urge you to seek as to <br />whether it is possible to: <br /> Shorten the time frame until the Christmas/New Year break to provide a few months to allow city staff to <br />negotiate a fair and equitable financial sharing arrangement with the school districts <br /> Go on a month to month basis until such a time that staff can negotiate with the school districts <br /> Provide that the extension options are only allowed to be exercised by city staff IF AND ONLY IF the item comes <br />back to the council for approval and after a complete report is provided by the City as to the efforts to have local <br />school districts participate in the funding of the program. <br /> <br />I believe we can all agree that safe passage for our children to school is very important. However, this burden should <br />not fall solely upon the city’s ability to fund the program. Our local school districts have resources which should be <br />sharing in this responsibility for safe passage for our city residents and their school kids. <br /> <br />My gut tells me that a one year approval is the minimum that can be done if we want to have this program for day one <br />of the upcoming school year. However, I believe that you have the ability to put milestones in place to where the city <br />staff are required to provide an update on their actions in negotiating with our three school districts. I would <br />recommend that you highly consider removing the ability to extend the contract without council approval and require <br />substantial updates from the districts in November, January, and April including having representatives from the District <br />justify in a presentation their positions if they are deciding not to participate in funding. <br /> <br />If you feel that this program should be solely funded by the city because these are city school kids walking to school and <br />utilizing the resource and you want to keep them safe on their way to school, I ask that you honestly answer the <br />question “why are we only providing this service to the public schools and the children that utilize the public schools <br />instead of the many students of our city that choose to utilize the great private and charter schools in our city?” Are the <br />Santa Ana children who go to these non-public district schools any less deserving of safe passage? My gut tells me that <br />the answer is that you believe that they are in deed entitled to safe passage to school but believe that the funding of <br />those schools’ crossing guards may be better suited to come from the budget of that private school for their <br />children. This highlights that the schools also have a responsibility in funding of the crossing guard program. If you do <br />not believe the schools are responsible and that you are only providing it because the school aged children of Santa Ana <br />are utilizing the services, then you have no choice but to say that the city should also be providing these services to all <br />school aged children and not just those that go to our great public schools. To be clear, I am not advocating expanding <br />this program at this time to our private and charter schools but instead am challenging your thinking if you are voting to <br />approve because you believe that it is the city’s responsibility to provide safe passage for our children…but maybe not <br />all children. <br /> <br />Please take steps to ensure that the three public school districts that operate the 35 schools that participate in the <br />crossing guard program participate financially in the program. By entering a long term contract right now with no <br />requirement for negotiation with the school districts will ensure that the program is not fairly funded by the districts <br />1 <br /> <br />