DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Furious parents met with Dallas Independent School District leaders in two schools Thursday evening to vent concerns about the use of private taxis, vans, and limos to transport students to school.
S’anah Rasa was expecting a big yellow bus the first day of class, and got an unwelcome surprise, instead. “Saw a black SUV and said, ‘No. No thank you. Thank you very much, but no thank you,” he said.
Four days into the school year, complaints from parents and teachers continue to mount.
Some parents say their passengers arrive late; others say their child has yet to be picked up once for school.
“There are all kind of horror stories that we’re hearing day after day after day – kids being left, kids being put out of cars because you’re not on my route,” said Sheila Walker, an employee at Harry Stone Montessori School.
DISD board member Lew Blackburn heard from parents at Harry Stone Montessori school, who told him they’re worried for their children’s safety. “I’m very concerned just like other parents are that anybody could drive up, say I have a sign, I’m a contractor, get in the car,” he said.
For transportation needs, Dallas ISD contracts with Dallas County Schools (DCS), which this year expanded its contract with American Logistics, or ALC, to cut costs and the amount of time children are spending on a bus.
ALC blames much of its problems, so far, on incorrect addresses and student information provided by DCS.
Vice president Greg Prettyman promised parents service would improve.
“I think as they start to see their child spend more time at home in the morning, come home earlier in the evening – as they get to know the driver, start to have that relationship with them – they’ll feel better about it,” said Prettyman.
For some parents, though, only a school bus will do. “We had them before, so it’s hard to believe we can’t ge them back. The busses aren’t gone, they’re just not being used,” said Blackburn.
If your child had not been picked up or does not appear on their driver’s manifest, contact DISD to update your child’s information.
To make a complaint about service provided by ALC, contact the company at firstname.lastname@example.org
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