Bus Driver Shortage Raises Ire of Dallas School Trustees

Tensions between the Dallas school district and its embattled bus service seemed to only grow on Thursday as trustees demanded answers to reports that there's a massive bus driver shortage going into the new school year.The relationship between the two agencies has become strained amid concerns of late student pickups, questionable management and financial struggles for the countywide bus agency, Dallas County Schools. On Friday, the bus agency will meet to formally call for an election where voters will seal its fate by deciding if it should be abolished altogether. The Texas Legislature is requiring them to do it.At DISD’s meeting, bus officials once again outlined how they've turned things around to be transparent and establish stable, trustworthy leadership.KXAS-TV (Channel 5) investigative reporters have uncovered questionable business deals, bus drivers in trouble for running red lights and problems with leadership at the bus agency in recent months. This week, the team reported that the bus system is currently about 200 drivers shy of what is needed to keep buses running as the school year starts.The bus agency told Dallas school trustees Thursday that they need 132 more drivers to get the Dallas district's students to school when classes start in a few weeks, but added that they're close to solving that problem because 78 more drivers are ready pending medical approvals, and 28 potential drivers have commercial licenses pending.Some Dallas school trustees said such shortages are unacceptable. They said the bus agency had a dismal track record last year when it came to picking up kids on time in Dallas.Trustee Edwin Flores said the bus agency's ongoing financial challenges are putting its future at risk no matter the outcome of November’s election“I have serious concerns about you being able to make it to the end of the school year,” said Flores, who added that he wants Dallas ISD attorneys to review whether the bus agency has breached its contract with the district.  Continue reading...

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