A State Senator plans to introduce legislation this week that would do away with Dallas County Schools (DCS) and their bus service. Currently, 12 school districts use DCS for bus transportation including White Settlement ISD.
The trouble started last year when news investigations found Dallas County Schools bus drivers breaking the law, running red lights and accumulating more than 480 traffic citations issued to school bus drivers. In November of last year, a DCS bus driver was stopped for speeding by the White Settlement City Marshal’s Office. That driver had seven outstanding warrants for failing to pay prior traffic tickets.
WSISD owns the busses that are being used to transport students to and from school and is currently accepting Requests for Proposals (RFP) for transportation services for the next school year.
“Dallas County Schools will provide bus service for WSISD for the remainder of the 2016-17 school year,” said WSISD Communications Director Desiree Coyle. “WSISD will select a new transportation provider no later than the April 2017 Board of Trustees meeting. ”
The RFP is for management service of the department, which includes maintenance of the fleet as well as driver responsibility.
State Senator Don Huffines, R-Dallas, announced his plans to introduce legislation in a Tuesday morning new conference in Austin that would do away with DCS.
The bill would replace the DCS board with what’s called a “dissolution committee.” The committee would pay off the busing agency’s debts and then close the doors at DCS by September 2018.
“Students and parents deserve better than DCS.,” Huffines said in a news release Tuesday. “When a child boards a school bus, parents should be able to trust that he or she will arrive at school safely and on time. This is a promise that DCS has broken repeatedly, and that’s unacceptable. DCS has put students at risk, and for that, I am seeking to do right by students and parents by abolishing this dangerous bureaucracy.”
The September 18 deadline is necessary to give the 12 school districts that use DCS for bus service time to find new bus contractors or launch their own bus fleets.