Legislators Pass Bill Abolishing Dallas County Schools Dissolution Committee, Closing Chapter on 172-Year-Old Agency

School services agency first formed in 1846 closed in 2018 after 172 years due to financial mismanagement and scandal

NBC 5 News

Texas legislators passed SB2018 this week, the final chapter in shutting down Dallas County Schools.

The bill, authored by Texas Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas), effectively abolishes the dissolution committee put in place after Dallas County voters chose to shut down the agency in November 2017.

The dissolution committee oversaw the disposition of the agency's assets and liabilities, including distributing buses to area school districts, and set up a new debt payment plan that was recently approved by the courts.

Votes chose to shut down the agency after a series of reports by NBC 5 Investigates uncovered a federal corruption scandal involving school bus cameras that cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

"There is no place for corruption in government, and it is our duty as legislators to protect students and taxpayers. The passage of this legislation represents a win for good government and I am proud to finally bring an end to the corrupt DCS system," said Texas Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas), who sponsored the original bill that shut down DCS.

Earlier this week, the architect of the scandal, Robert Leonard, was sentenced to seven years behind bars for paying off city officials and DCS leadership with more than $4 million in bribes.

Former Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway was sentenced to 56 months in federal prison earlier this year for his role in the scandal; former DCS Superintendent Rick Sorrells will be sentenced in August. Former DCS Board President Larry Duncan was sentenced in April to six months home confinement and three years probation for his role in the scandal.

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