Buffalo Grove to cut crossing guard services for Dist. 21 next month

  • After months of dispute and attempted negotiations over who should pay for crossing guards in Wheeling Township Elementary District 21, the district sent letters home to parents Monday announcing there will be no crossing guards at three district intersections after the winter break.

      After months of dispute and attempted negotiations over who should pay for crossing guards in Wheeling Township Elementary District 21, the district sent letters home to parents Monday announcing there will be no crossing guards at three district intersections after the winter break. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • After months of dispute and attempted negotiations over who should pay for crossing guards in Wheeling Township Elementary District 21, the district sent letters home to parents Monday announcing there will be no crossing guards at three district intersections after the winter break.

      After months of dispute and attempted negotiations over who should pay for crossing guards in Wheeling Township Elementary District 21, the district sent letters home to parents Monday announcing there will be no crossing guards at three district intersections after the winter break. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 11/17/2015 6:37 PM

Students using three Wheeling Township Elementary District 21 intersections won't have crossing guards, currently provided by Buffalo Grove, when they return to school after winter break.

The two parties couldn't agree on payment for past services.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

District 21 sent letters home to parents Monday night notifying them that Dec. 18 would be the last day crossing guards would be at the intersections, district spokeswoman Kara Beach said.

In the letter, Superintendent Kate Hyland and school board President Bill Harrison say that becuase a contract never existed for the crossing guard services, the district never agreed to pay. "Rather, it would only consider sharing costs for future services, provided that both parties entered into a contract outlining such services," the letter says.

In the absence of crossing guards, Beach says, students attending Longfellow Elementary School using the Arlington Heights and Bernard Drive intersection who live west of Arlington Heights Road are "welcome to use the bus that's been in place for a number of years."

Cooper Middle School students who live west of Arlington Heights Road and also use the intersection might qualify to take a bus if the state Department of Transportation deems the intersection too dangerous for middle school students to cross, she said.

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Students using the other two intersections -- Raupp Boulevard and Golfview Terrace near Kilmer Elementary School and Anthony Road, and Cambridge Drive near Tarkington Elementary School -- can walk to school without crossing guards, or their parents can drive them.

Buffalo Grove initially announced it would yank the crossing guards before school started this year. Buffalo Grove said the school district owed $24,000 for two years of crossing guard services after the village shifted to a cost-sharing model. Two school districts, Kildeer-Countryside 96 and Aptakisic-Tripp 102, went along with the new arrangement, but District 21 officials said they never agreed to pay.

District officials argued that providing cross guards is a public safety issue and thus falls on the shoulders of the village.

Service was continued during nearly three months of negotiations as the dispute played out in board meetings and private meetings between village and school board officials, as well as in emails, memos and public statements. It appeared the two parties might agree on cost-sharing for future services, but past services remained a sticking point.

Buffalo Grove Deputy Village Manager Jenny Maltas last week said when District 21 refused Buffalo Grove's offer to forgive half what it says the district owes, the village knew negotiations were over.

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