Reporting Steve Pickett
DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – The plan that uses contracted van and taxi drivers to take Dallas Independent School District students to class instead of picking them up in school buses is apparently now being reconsidered.
The district determined it could save time and money using personal drivers to pick up small groups of children traveling to magnet schools and academies. Contracted drivers are also picking up children attending special academic campuses.
It’s a program that had been in place previously, but the district expanded it this school year from five hundred to 22-hundred students – a small fraction of the district’s 159-thousand students.
Concerned parents have questioned the plan since the first day of school. Thursday night, furious parents met with district leaders in two schools to vent their frustrations about the program.
“They’re very concerned about the mode of transportation for their students, and it’s very understandable,” said DISD spokesperson Jon Dahlander.
While taxicab operators and private drivers continued to pick children up on Friday, DISD officials, and transportation contractors met privately to discuss possibly putting the car service plan in reverse.
“We’ve heard the parents concerns. We take them very seriously. Very genuine concerns. And hopefully we’ll have a solution to eliminate those concerns,” said Dahlander.
Students are out of school Monday, and by Tuesday, the personal drivers should have distinctive placards on cars. Taxicabs will be eliminated. But district officials say there’s also a chance the entire plan could be scrapped.
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