Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa spoke in a rare one-on-one interview with NBC 5 Investigates Thursday about the issues they’ve been having with Dallas County Schools, the bus provider for Dallas ISD and 11 other school districts in North Texas.
Hinojosa told NBC 5 the troubles with DCS buses right now are the worst he has seen in his 22 years as a school superintendent and that they must get safer and more reliable.
“We count on this organization every day to help get our students safely to school every day. And the issues that you've identified are issues that we've felt,” said Hinojosa.
For weeks, NBC 5 has uncovered issues with DCS buses getting students to school so late they miss class.
What's more, bus crashes have more than doubled in just one year.
Hinojosa’s staff has met with DCS, the bus contractor, expressing their frustration, but the superintendent made it clear Thursday he’s prepared to do more than complain if DCS can’t get more kids to school on time and reduce collisions.
“Whatever it takes. That's what we will consider. So all options will be on the table,” said Hinojosa.
He said the options include cutting ties with Dallas County Schools when their bus contract is up in the spring.
If that action is taken, Hinojosa said the transition to a new provider couldn't happen overnight or even within a year. Still, Hinojosa said he will present the school board with plans so they can make a change if Dallas County Schools doesn't improve.
“Bottom line, we want them to improve and they gotta do it. But if they can't, then we have to have other solutions,” said Hinojosa.
DCS reacted to Hinojosa’s comments Thursday telling NBC 5 in a statement: "We understand Dr. Hinojosa's concerns and we hear his frustrations. We welcome the opportunity to meet with the appropriate representatives to ensure our service and on-time arrival meets DISD's expectations."
The School Board at Dallas ISD will meet in early December to talk about the problems with unsafe driving and late buses and to start weighing their options.