• Lori Kirkpatrick

Vote FOR Prop A

Proposition A on November 7th ballot - Vote FOR!

News flash – if DISD isn’t happy with Dallas County Schools (DCS) – why don’t they give notice and opt out?All they have to do is give a 30 day notice, opt out and DISD can move on. It’s that simple. DCS does NOT have to be abolished for DISD to opt out. No one is forcing DISD to use DCS. DISD is not the only district that uses DCS for transportation. Many suburban districts are pleased with the service and don’t want DCS to be abolished.

While I’m not the least bit supportive of the mismanagement by DCS, great improvement has been made over the past eight months. The superintendent was forced to resign and all management involved was fired. It is apparent that DISD isn’t prepared to tackle transportation. There is no plan. We are told an interim committee will flesh out the details if the voters agree to dismantle DCS. That’s the kind of vagueness that gives many of us pause.

Here’s a quote taken from Dr. Kyle Renard, a DCS Trustee, answering a FB post question about the buses DISD will get if a dissolution committee is formed, “ If DISD gets half of the owned buses, that would be 316 buses. DCS uses 889 buses for the DISD routes currently, so they would need 580 more buses. That's $58 million. Even if they could assume the leases of half of the other buses, that's 444 buses, and say the leases were about half way, that's still about $22 million. But then they still need 129 more buses to adequately run their routes (1030 routes). So that's another $13 million. And remember that DISD is supposed to be splitting these assets with the other districts. So we're up to $35 million needed just for buses. Add in fuel costs, land costs for bus lots, maintenance costs, and salaries for employees- kind of a headache, wouldn't you agree?”

Here’s another concern of mine. Just look, and you'll see all of the usual corporate school reform privatizers on the bandwagon to vote DCS out. So what’s that about? Charters can’t tax, but get access to an authority who can, gain tax dollars for transportation and get laws passed to further your charter agenda. If charter schools could offer transportation that would greatly enhance their ability to recruit students from DISD and the money that follows each student.

Let's look at some of the pro-ousting DCS players:

* Dustin Marshall, runs a local transportation business, prior charter school board trustee and Protect Dallas Kids PAC founder

* Edwin Flores, previous charter school board trustee and Protect Dallas Kids PAC founder

* Doug Deason, treasurer of Protect Dallas Kids PAC, member of Texans for Education Opportunity, a pro-voucher and pro-public education privatizing group and Mr. Deason has ties to the Koch brothers

* Chair of the Dallas County Republican party Phillip Huffines and his brother Senator Don Huffines, both public education privatizers and Senator Huffines is a Protect Dallas Kids PAC founder

* The DMN, known corporate privatization education publication

* Senator Royce West and Representative Rafael Anchia, both have supported charter schools

* Mayor Mike Rawlings, pro-Home Rule Charter Initiative

So no, don't forget the mismanagement of DCS. Continue to hold them accountable and demand improvement. Don’t let the charterizers of Dallas and those on our DISD board convince you to advance the corporate privatization agenda in the name of protecting kids. Remember, DISD can opt out of the contract with DCS at any time. Let's ask the DISD Trustees to come up with a back up plan for our review before jumping out of a moving vehicle.

So vote FOR Prop A and DCS. Our children and public education need you!

(A list of the FOR Arguments here.)

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