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News Update

Schools face crossing guard shortage

Schools across the country are facing a shortage of crossing guards.

San Jose Spotlight reports that 30% of its crossing guard positions still remain unfilled. It has 80 out of 262 positions vacant. That has broad ramifications for the safety of children on their way to school.

“Our crossing guards are essentially the eyes and the ears of this department because they’re out there on a regular basis,” Michelle Barte, the program manager for San Jose Police Department’s School Safety and Education Unit, told the Spotlight. “They get to know their children, the parents, the guardians. They typically see who belongs there and who doesn’t, so they’re also tasked with looking out for the greater safety of the children.”

Oakland’s Department of Transportation has faced trouble filling crossing guard positions, and so has Los Altos and East Bay schools.

Nationwide schools have faced a crossing guard shortage that parallels the broader labor shortage. Crossing guards typically work an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. That makes it perfect for someone retired or a stay-at-home parent looking for extra income, but it is not a job that others with a part-time position can easily take on, notes The Los Altos Crier.