By Terry Dean
Oak Park Elementary School District 97 is in talks with the Village of Oak Park about who will fund crossing guards for the upcoming school year.
Both entities last year signed off on a one-year agreement for the village to outsource crossing guards, with the school district picking up the tab. That amount came out to about $160,000. Aurora-based Andy Frain Services currently provides one supervisor and about two-dozen crossing guards at intersections near the district's 10 school buildings.
The village and school district, however, remain at odds about funding in-school resource officers (SROs). District 97 Superintendent Albert Roberts said there was no agreement between the two taxing bodies concerning the school district funding SROs.
"We certainly value them being in our schools but we never had an agreement on funding SROs," Roberts said. "We did not have any negotiated agreement on that. From my vantage point, it does seem to me that, while the district and village has and will continue to work cooperatively, that, in general, public safety is the village's responsibility and education is ours."
That, in fact, has been the school district's position since 2009 when the two sides began discussing the funding issue. Roberts said the District 97 school board is planning to talk about crossing guards and SROs at their upcoming meeting June 14.