Districts say bus service costs could rise after voters dissolve Dallas County Schools

Dallas County Schools busing system to be dissolved

The wheels will still go round and round, but bus service all through Dallas County will not be the same after voters decided end the public agency overseeing transportation for nine school districts.

Proposition A, which would have continued Dallas County Schools, failed 58 to 42-percent on Tuesday.

The Texas Comptroller will now appoint a "dissolution committee" by Friday that will work on the orderly winding down of DCS by June 30, 2018.

The existing elected school board and superintendent will be dissolved on November 15.

On Wednesday, Dallas ISD superintendent Michael Hinojosa said the state second largest district will likely take over transportation in-house for a period of time.

“It’s going to be very difficult for someone to handle us externally unless we did a hybrid solution, so we’re considering all those items,” Hinojosa said.

DISD commits $54 million annually to DCS to provide transportation for nearly 30,000 students.

Hinojosa says those costs are likely to increase, at least at the outset.

“There may be some one time costs, we’re going to present to our board next month our plan," Hinojosa said. "But we think eventually after the one time costs are handled, the taxpayers are going to be better off.”

Other school districts told WFAA on Wednesday they expect costs to increase.

Cedar Hill ISD, one of nine districts that utilizes DCS, anticipates it will spend upwards of $1 million more annually for transportation and will need to purchase 59 buses to provide a comparable level of service.

Dale Kaiser, with the National Education Association, says those costs will eventually trickle down to taxpayers.

"They’re going to find out that their own taxes for their own local school districts are going to go up," Kaiser said. "Either that or there’s going to be student programming cuts in those ISD’s.”

Hinojosa said he does not know yet what the cost for year one will be, but plans to submit that estimated amount to Dallas ISD trustees on November 29.

While many complained about the bus service in general, there were also complaints directed toward its high cost and problems with drivers, among other things.

School districts will have one year to find a new school bus provider. It will now be up to a board to ensure a smooth transition.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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