Less than 7 percent of Dallas County registered voters cast ballots to decide the fate of Dallas County Schools — and those 83,209 voters (out of about 1.3 million registered voters in the county) chose to shutter the embattled school bus provider.
“I think we put up a good fight given that we had zero money to fight this while our opponents spent thousands of dollars,” DCS board president Gloria Levario told The Dallas Morning News. “It will be business as usual for our employees, but that’s all I know for now.”
Levario also said that all DCS employees will continue to have jobs through the end of the school year — buses will continue to run.
Now that 58 percent of voters have opted to pull the plug on the agency, the current DCS board and superintendent will be replaced by a committee made up of representatives from school districts and appointees from the state comptroller’s office by Nov. 15. That committee will begin working with the districts that use DCS to unspool the agency and end operations after the school year, distributing DCS assets among the school districts.
Districts currently utilizing DCS for bus service are Aledo ISD, Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, Cedar Hill ISD, DeSoto ISD, Dallas ISD, Highland Park ISD, Irving ISD, Lancaster ISD, and Richardson ISD.
The one-cent property tax DCS collects will remain in force for now – until its debt is paid off. The agency was projecting an $8 million deficit for this school year.
Dallas ISD superintendent Michael Hinojosa will hold a press conference at 10:45 a.m. today to discuss what bus service will look like for the district now. CandysDirt.com will provide live coverage on our Facebook page.
Dallas easily passed all 10 of its propositions for the city’s $1 billion bond package Tuesday as well. Votes for Prop A (roads and street repairs) and Prop J (homeless assistance) got almost 80 percent of the vote, and every proposition passed with at least 60 percent of the vote.
Proposed state constitutional amendments also passed handily, including Proposition 4, which will require a court to notify the state attorney general when the anyone files litigation that challenges the constitutionality of a state law. Courts would have to wait 45 days after providing notice to entering a judgment holding the statute unconstitutional.
This may create a very meta situation if the first use of Prop 4 is a challenge to it, considering the controversy it creates around the separation of powers doctrine, whose premise is that each branch of the government should be able to work without interference from another branch.
Quick reactions from last night are below.
Irving ISD families — school bus 🚌 transportation will continue no matter the outcome of the Dallas County Schools vote. #committed
— Irving ISD (@IrvingISD) November 8, 2017
If Dallas ISD trustees would have placed a tax ratification election on this ballot, it looks like it would have been a sure bet – given how strongly voters are supporting all of the propositions in City of Dallas’ $1.05B bond.
— Corbett Smith (@corbettsmithDMN) November 8, 2017
A single voter showed up in precinct 4112-6307 and voted against every single Dallas bond proposition.
— Tristan Hallman (@TristanHallman) November 8, 2017
With literally ONE BILLION DOLLARS in bond money at stake, 3.5% of eligible Dallas voters showed up to today’s polls.
That’s weak as hell.
But let it remind us of two things:
1) The youth really can shape Dallas’ future if it wants.
2) Decisions are made by those who show up.
— Central Track (@Central_Track) November 8, 2017
*sarcastic woohoo* — Dallas voters approved over $1B in bond measures — can’t wait to pay for that, especially considering the tax appraisal of my house has already gone up 38% in the couple of years since I bought it.
— Matt (@txaggie_2011) November 8, 2017
Early voting sadly shows that Dallas voters will support any bond proposition. They’d support $1M for a stick of butter if asked.
— Sam Merten (@SamMerten) November 8, 2017
A shame it had to come to this, but Dallas County Schools left voters with no choice. I’m glad my daughter will no longer have to deal with the consistently inconsistent bus service. Now for the ISDs to get together and come up with a sound Plan B.
— Michael Harris (@HEProfessor) November 8, 2017
Bethany Erickson is the education, consumer affairs, and public policy columnist for CandysDirt.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.