Dallas County Schools Board Members Suggest They Were Left in the Dark on Finances | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Dallas County Schools Board Members Suggest They Were Left in the Dark on Finances

Layoffs already underway just days after DCS announced $42 million budget shortfall

(Published Friday, Feb. 3, 2017)

The board of trustees at Dallas County Schools is responsible for overseeing finances for an agency that provides bus service for 12 North Texas school districts.

But two DCS school board members tell NBC 5 Investigates they had not seen financial reports from agency administrators for months.

Then, this week a new interim chief financial officer hired to probe the finances at DCS told the board the agency is facing a $42 million budget deficit and is struggling to pay its bills.

Trustee Gloria Levario said Friday she had not seen financial reports since July. She told NBC 5 Investigates she is "absolutely" concerned about a lack of information.

As for the current crisis she said, "We all, as board members, are very concerned about this, and we are eager to get information."

Levario said she was not sure why the board had not been receiving financials.

At Tuesday's board meeting, trustee Kyle Renard also suggested the board had not been getting financial reports for months.

NBC 5 was unable to reach Renard for comment this week.

But another trustee, James Hubener, also confirms he had not seen financials since July.

Over the phone NBC 5 asked Hubener if he had concerns about that. He replied, "I really have no comment on that. I will share that at a board meeting at a later time."

NBC 5 reached out to DCS Superintendent Rick Sorrells for a response to the comments from board members, but he did not immediately respond.

Other board members whom NBC 5 contacted have either declined to speak or have not responded.

One question remains: if the board was not getting financial reports, what did those members do to push that information in the months leading up to the crisis?

Meanwhile, layoffs are underway at Dallas County Schools. On Friday afternoon, more employees were let go.

The agency is cutting up to 100 jobs in an effort to recover from the $42 million budget shortfall that's largely tied to a controversial school bus stop-arm camera program.

NBC 5 Investigates has learned some of the layoffs are in the DCS police force. Some DCS officers review school bus stop-arm violation videos and issue tickets. Others serve as school resource officers under contracts with local school districts.

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