Voters in Dallas County, Texas, have decided to shut down a 171-year-old agency that provided school bus transportation for nine districts.
KXAS-TV reports that 58 percent of those casting ballots voted to close the troubled school bus agency known as Dallas County Schools.
The results mean that the agency will be phased out; a dissolution committee will replace the Dallas County Schools board. The panel will include the superintendents of the nine districts that use the agency for busing—Aledo, Carrollton-Farmers Branch, Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Dallas, Highland Park, Irving, Lancaster and Richardson—and financial experts appointed by the state.
The committee will run the bus agency through the end of the 2017-2018 school year. Next June the buses the agency owns, as well as the service centers, will be split up among the nine school districts. The districts will then decide if they'll manage their own busing systems or contract with another company.
Dallas County Schools (DCS) issued a statement thanking the community for their support and for allowing them to serve.
"DCS staff are disheartened with the outcome, but extremely thankful for the support we received. DCS remains dedicated to serving the students, parents and districts in and around Dallas County for as long as we have the opportunity to do so. We wish the school districts the best and will do everything we can to assist with a smooth transition. Thank you for supporting DCS over the years and allowing us to serve this incredible community."
DCS has more than $100 million in outstanding debt, so county taxpayers will will continue to have a property tax levied on them until the debt is paid off.