Keeping Our Kids Safe

City Councilmember Steve Okamoto discusses how the already-cash-strapped City recently allocated funds to save school crossing guards, and the issue of our overcrowded schools.


As parents, our goal was to keep our children safe. Many of you are parents as well, and also share my desire for child safety.

Whenever possible we keep an eye on our kids to be sure they are involved in safe activities. However, there are times when you have to entrust the safety of your kids to others.

One of those times is when they are in school and, specifically, when they are walking to and from school.

During those times we count on our school crossing guards to see that our kids cross safely on those busy streets, especially during the morning commute.

Those school crossing guards are hired, supervised and paid by the school district.

However, because of the financial constraints of the state budget and the amounts allocated to the schools, the San Mateo-Foster City School District has asked the City to lend assistance by funding the cost of the crossing guards.

At a recent City Council meeting, the Council, aware of the need for the safety of our kids through the crossing guard program, appropriated the necessary funds so the school district could hire those crossing guards for the upcoming school year.

Discussions for the financing of the guards have been a subject of deliberation with the two sub-committees of the school district and City for the past several months.

It was decided that the sub-committee would embark on a fund-raising campaign and try and raise funds to reimburse the City for its recent budget allocation for the crossing guards. The funds would be raised through the Foster City Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization.

The fundraising campaign would target the Foster City community. If you feel that child safety is a priority and you would like to contribute to the campaign, please send a donation to the Foster City Foundation, 610 Foster City Blvd., Foster City, CA 94404.

Some businesses have already expressed a desire to support the program, and I hope they will step forward with a check. 

Finally, in an earlier article, I discussed how the success of the test scores of our four schools has resulted in a large influx of school-age kids moving into town. This has resulted in an overcrowding of our already maxed-out schools, and the demographers have predicted even more classrooms will be needed in the next couple of years.

The superintendent, with the aid of the City, has convened a committee of concerned citizens, called SCORE, to study this overcrowding issue. Several meetings have been held at the district office, with many ideas submitted and discussed.

I have been attending each of these meetings, and am truly impressed with the sincerity and concern that these committee members have shown to try and come up with a solution to this overcrowding problem.

The final meetings will be held in July with a recommendation(s) to the school district due in early August. Stay tuned for more details.

If you have any questions or concerns about the school crossing guards or the SCORE committee, please let me know. I can be reached by phone at 650-286-3501 or by e-mail at sokamoto@fostercity.org.


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Phyllis McArthur July 13, 2012 at 01:59 AM
This was excellent, Steve!


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