Dallas Independent School District Trustees unanimously approved a $50 million contract Thursday with school bus provider Dallas County Schools.
The embattled school bus agency is facing a budget crises that threatens to shut it down. Now it will have 17 months to prove that it can still transport thousands of kids to school on time and improve driver performance.
The 17-month contract gives Dallas ISD more control over decisions impacting the transportation of its students. New language was also added to hold the agency more accountable.
For the first time, Dallas County Schools will be required to have a 95 percent on-time success rate each month. The district could also impose a $30 late bus penalty each time a driver does not show up on time.
Dallas ISD Chief Operations Officer Scott Layne said trustees really had not other option but to approve the contract.
"This is our only choice. It's too late in the year to look at another provider, but we do have some concerns with Dallas County [Schools] based on their performance this past year," he said. "Rather than go with a multi-year agreement we felt like it was in our best interest to go for one-year."
The district also wants DCS to use its GPS system to track arrival times and access to the agency's system.