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Future crossing guard funding remains in Oak Bay crosshairs

Council approves paying this year but questions future funding model
Oak Bay will pay for crossing guards to get students to Ecole Willows Elementary safely this school year. (Black Press Media file photo)

Oak Bay will pay for crossing guards to help kids in the community get to school safely but wants to see the subject revisited.

With the safety measures in place as school started in September, council approved funding for Willows students during its Sept. 20 council meeting.

The Greater Victoria Crossing Guard Association folded in June leaving the Greater Victoria School District (SD61) exploring options. The board opted to utilize school staff with less than full-time hours, such as education assistants, funded through each municipality.

During a July in-camera meeting, the SD61 board directed chair Ryan Painter to reach out for formal requests to Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay where Willows Elementary requires crossing guards at two intersections, making it three hours of work per day at a cost of $22,560 per year.

RELATED: Oak Bay covers crossing guards cost for area schools (2016)

The letter from the school board asked Oak Bay to consider it as a recurring cost for the future, asking the districts to enter a memorandum of understanding to formalize the funding arrangement.

While unanimously supportive of paying this school year, impacting this year’s budget and next, council opted to seek further discussion of future options.

“I don’t think this is the right model moving forward,” Mayor Kevin Murdoch said.

RELATED: Victoria approves emergency crossing guard funding


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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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