Embattled Dallas County Schools Gets Closer to Extinction

A bill to eliminate the controversial Dallas County Schools was voted out of the Education Committee and now goes to the full Senate for consideration.The measure, brought forward by Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, would do away with the system that provides busing and other services to member districts. The agency has struggled in recent months amid reports of questionable business dealings, drivers running red lights, financial struggles and complaints from local school districts that DCS was falling down on the most important job: transporting kids."For far too long, the students, taxpayers, and schools in Dallas County have endured the unreliability, dangerous buses, and financial corruption of Dallas County Schools," Huffines said in a statement after the vote.DCS officials defended their agency earlier this month saying they've been working to fix problems. That has included stricter policies for driver safety, cutting a controversial stop-arm-camera program that allowed cities to fine drivers who went around buses and scaling back on other ventures. Former DCS superintendent Rick Sorrells abruptly retired."We have been addressing the issues that have been brought to our attention," acting superintendent Leatha Mullins told lawmakers. "Now I believe with the team that we have, they are the best in their field and we can get this done."But Huffines' bill cleared the Senate education committee 9-1 and is expected to go before the full Senate next week. The legislation includes a transition plan to give participating school districts a year to find another bus provider. Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa has said the district would help smaller districts temporarily should it take over some of DCS' buses and service center.  Continue reading...

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