Dallas Independent School District board members grilled Dallas County Schools Thursday, wanting to know if the troubled bus agency has enough bus drivers to be able to get kids to school on time this year.
Less than three weeks from the first day of school, NBC 5 Investigates has learned the agency is short hundreds of drivers.
DCS said Thursday that they are 132 drivers short for the Dallas ISD; they are 240 drivers short of the number they need to service all seven of their districts.
That number is slightly worse than the number NBC 5 Investigates reported only two days ago, but DCS insists they are rapidly filling open positions and that they have other staff members who are certified to drive and could step in if needed.
The agency is required to meet a 95 percent on-time rate. When asked by Dallas ISD trustee Dustin Marshall if they'll be able to hit that number, DCS representative Scott Peters replied that “the first month is kind of a mess for everyone,” but that they were confident they could reach that mark by October.
Dallas ISD trustee Edwin Flores then expressed concern that the agency would be able to continue operations if they had to terminate more drivers for running red lights – NBC 5 Investigatesreported Wednesday that the agency had to recently fire an additional 13 school bus drivers for running red lights or past stop signs.
To help keep the buses moving, the Dallas ISD board said Thursday that for the first time in years they will allow teachers to sign up to drive buses. Still, it will take time to get those teachers trained to drive.