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Texas House Committee Passes Bill That Could Shut Down Dallas County Schools

Bill now moves on to full House for a vote before heading to Texas Senate

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Texas House Committee on Public Education passes a bill Thursday that could shut down Dallas County Schools. (Published Thursday, May 18, 2017)

    What to Know

    • HB2329 passed the Texas House Committee on Ed., but it's not yet a law. Must pass the full House and Senate before it can be signed.

    • SB1122, which would put DCS' future up for public vote in November, passed the Senate May 4 and is currently pending in a House Committee.

    • DCS' board president stepped down Wednesday; interim superintendent says they've secured bond refinancing that will allow them to continue.

    The Texas House Committee on Public Education passed a bill Thursday that could shut down Dallas County Schools .

    The House committee passed HB 2329 on an 8-2 vote. The bill will next be presented to the entire House where it must pass before being handed over to a Senate committee.

    The bill, known as HB 2329, was originally filed by State Rep. Cindy Burkett (R-Sunnyvale) in February.

    I am prayerful something can be done to stop the runaway train that’s poised to slam Dallas County Schools.Leatha Mullins, interim Superintendent, Dallas County Schools

    HB 2329, if passed, would strip DCS of its ability to tax people in Dallas County. Then it would be up to local school districts to decide if they want to partner with DCS for bus service. If fewer than 75 percent of students in Dallas County end up receiving services from DCS the agency would be dissolved.

    A committee would take over running the agency until it's shut down.

    Thursday afternoon, DCS' interim Superintendent Leatha Mullins issued the following statement regarding the state legislature's actions.

    "At this moment, I don’t know how to respond. In an exhausting seven weeks, we have met, or are in the process of completing, every single demand from the Legislature," Mullins said in a statement Thursday afternoon. "Our team has done the impossible to complete the audit, refinance the bonds, reorganize procedures and there’s a complete team of new leadership including the Board of Trustees. I am prayerful something can be done to stop the runaway train that’s poised to slam Dallas County Schools, even though we’ve truly transformed DCS and are moving forward."

    HB 2329 is one of two proposals in the legislature that could ultimately shut down the agency. The other, SB 1122, was authored by State Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas) and would put the agency's future up for public vote in November.

    SB 1122 passed the Senate on May 4 and is currently pending in a House Committee.

    Thursday morning, Huffines tweeted, "Great news for students, schools, & taxpayers in Dallas! A corrupt & dangerous bureaucracy is one step closer to being shuttered. #txlege"


    On Wednesday, DCS Board President Larry Duncan's term expired and he announced he would not seek re-election, saying he was "truly hopeful this will redirect the focus to the work that lies ahead." The DCS board voted quickly to elect at-large trustee Gloria Levario, who then thanked Duncan for his service.

    DCS President Larry Duncan Steps Down, ReplacedDCS President Larry Duncan Steps Down, Replaced

    Longtime Dallas County Schools Board of Trustees President Larry Duncan was replaced Wednesday after announcing he was not seeking reelection as president amid ongoing investigations into a $42 million budget gap, the agency's controversial stop-arm camera program and a sale-leaseback land deal that will cost taxpayers millions.

    (Published Wednesday, May 17, 2017)

    Following reports by NBC 5 Investigates on a controversial $25 million sale-leaseback that will cost Dallas County taxpayers millions, Mullins said Wednesday she will ask law enforcement to investigate the land deal.

    DCS to Ask for Law Enforcement Investigation of Land DealDCS to Ask for Law Enforcement Investigation of Land Deal

    DCS interim Superintendent Leatha Mullins says she will ask law enforcement to investigate a $25 million land deal exposed this week in an exclusive report by NBC 5 Investigates. Board president Larry Duncan, who is named in that report, announced Wednesday he's stepping down from his post after 14 years.

    (Published Wednesday, May 17, 2017)

    Mullins announced earlier in the day that DCS secured bond refinancing that will allow them, for now, to continue to operate.

    NBC 5 Investigates' Scott Friedman and Eva Parks contributed to this report.

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