Parents, and locals alike, have probably heard one side of the story, in relation to the Dallas County Schools Bus Systems. So, what’s the benefit of using public transport, rather than privately funded transport for local schools in Dallas? By relying on the DCS public school transport system, more than $2.5 million dollars were saved by one local school – Carrolton Farmer’s Branch; another area school, Cedar Hill ISD saved approximately $900,000 over the course of the year. In addition to cost-savings, all seven schools in the district have not only supported, and favorably rated the bus systems for local area schools.
What do these savings mean?
Basically, the total of $42 million, saved throughout the Dallas public county schools in the district (total), means these funds go right back into education. This not only allows schools to provide better facilities for students, but also improve the quality of education local students are receiving. It allows schools to implement new, modernized equipment and computer programs. It further allows area schools to improve the quality of training, education, and implement uniformed programs, throughout the districts, in an attempt to provide the highest levels of education to students, regardless of which area school they attend.
What government is providing
The Texas Legislature is further setting up the one penny ad valorem program, which is a tax benefit for DCS public schools, in an attempt to help offset the cost of transportation for students. So, by abolishing the DCS, the assistance schools are currently receiving for using the transportation system, would be cut entirely. In turn, the cost of transportation for local schools, which is typically paid out of the general fund, would increase dramatically for most schools. By shifting the tax money to creditors, as opposed to the schools (and children in need of public transportation), cutting the DCS would greatly hinder growth, and eliminate the ability for schools to put money back into improving the education they are providing to children.
DCS acknowledges mistakes
One main shining point to mention through the previous leadership of the DCS transport program is that the Dallas County Public school systems are acknowledging their mistakes, and making appropriate changes to ensure improved transportation, and improve the quality of education for local area children. What new leadership guarantees to the public schools in the area includes:
- Improved leadership, and leaders who truly care about providing quality transportation to students, for a reasonable cost.
- A passionate, and dedicated team, which is looking to improve quality of transportation systems for students.
- New leadership and administration from the top down. With a new infrastructure in place, changes can be made from top down, in order to efficiently provide the highest quality transportation for students.
DCS has made mistakes in this past, but this does not diminish the quality of leadership, and changes which are being promulgated by the new team which is in place. Since February, significant strides have been made, and many efforts have gone into improving the system, and righting the wrongs which the previous administration was providing for the local county schools.
Improvements made throughout
It isn’t only the bus and transportation systems which have seen improvements with the new team in place. Financial strides and improvements have been made. More money is going back into improving local area education, and providing students with the best education in the country. Improved instruction has been put into place. With more money available for schooling, area schools can afford the best teachers, equipment, and electronics for schools, in order to ensure students are going to receive the best education possible. Further, with an improved financial status, local area schools are no longer fearing having to apply for bankruptcy, so positive changes have been made throughout.
Improved leadership, and new administration throughout also means the team is accepting accountability for the errors which were made. The questionable business transactions which were undertaken in previous years, are now being reviewed. This is done in an effort to clean up the way which funds are used, to remove those who are in power (and aren’t providing the best resources for area schools), and finances are being used in areas which need to be improved upon most.
The board of DCS has a new president, as well as new trustees, in an attempt to start anew in providing local area students the best education, and the best in public transportation for area schools. New members are not only working to enact new policies for how operations should be run, but also working to improve overall financial insight moving forward. Increased transparency among leaders is also a leading point which the board and new president are making a top priority for the DCS, and improved ethical policies are also being put into place by the DCS.
Many improvements have already occurred under the new board which include:
- Decreases in traffic citations (decrease of 149 citations in one year).
- Decrease in roadway incidents by 24%.
- And, on-time of 98.5% was reported by public transportation systems with the new leadership team in place.
All positive changes moving forward, and with continual investigations taking place, more improvements are bound to follow for the Dallas County Schools systems.
Issues were found from top down, and the new leadership has accepted responsibility for these problems. Not only are the new leaders passionate about improving the manner in which operations are run, but also improving financial standing, and decreasing ethical mishaps moving forward. Mistakes were made, and the first step was taken, which was accepting accountability and removing the leadership which was in place. Dallas County Schools are passionate, dedicated, and looking to right prior wrongs, in an attempt to provide excellent school bus transportation to students throughout Dallas County moving forward.