Major problems with busing students to and from school have resulted in the firings of six transportation managers at the Dallas Independent School District, and the re-assignment of another manager, NBC 5 Investigates has learned.
Thousands of complaints have poured in as DISD begins its new role of running school buses, a big task inherited from Dallas County Schools, the bus agency that shut down amid widespread corruption that cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
“I don’t want to make excuses. We have to deliver. But if it’s not working, you can’t just keep going that direction,” DISD superintendent Michael Hinojosa said in an exclusive interview with NBC 5 Investigates.
“So we have made some drastic changes in personnel and systems,” Hinojosa said.
He said the managers who were let go all worked previously for DCS, a mistake he said was due to the district just following the “playbook” of the now-closed bus agency.
Problems were the most severe, the superintendent said, during the first couple of weeks of school, rooted mainly in the scheduling and routing of buses, responding to complaints, hiring the right personnel and adequately maintaining the fleet.
Hinojosa advocated for the shutdown of DCS, and promised that school bus service would improve under DISD control.
Now that that’s happened, he said, service is getting better, but much more needs to be done, with buses still running late, causing kids to miss classes.
Among those fired were managers responsible for overseeing entire sections of the city.
Hinojosa declined to identify the six people who were fired.