As Dallas County Schools is dissolved, it's not just bus drivers who are facing uncertainties.
Bus drivers will now have to submit applications with school districts to keep their jobs and so will hundreds of school crossing guards. The changes to who oversees and pays school crossing guards could take effect during this school year.
The new CEO of Dallas County Schools says he is waiting for the attorney they just hired on Wednesday to provide a legal opinion about who is responsible to pay school crossing guards. It's an important question since the government agency is struggling to find the cash to make it through the end of this school year.
Dallas County Schools bus drivers are anxious for answers. They tried a last ditch effort to get some during a committee meeting.
Mike Moses is the former Dallas ISD superintendent and chairman of the Dallas County Schools Dissolution Committee. He is not sure if bus drivers will have guaranteed jobs.
“I don't know the answer to that question. I would guess not,” he said. “But again, everyone on the board and everyone I've talked to is very interested in fairness to the employees. I think many of these individuals — if not all — will probably be driving buses for one of the districts next year.
The future is also uncertain for DCS’ 375 crossing guards. Their payroll totals $5 million. With the school bus service running a deficit in the millions, the committee could hand crossing guard responsibilities over to cities in the middle of this school year.
“I was not even aware crossing guards were involved until just recently,” Moses said. “I was assuming they were doing transportation services. You're talking to a board member that probably has a lot to learn.”
The board named former Dallas ISD Chief of Staff Alan King as the CEO of the wind-down committee. After presenting the board with a very bleak financial outlook, he did not sugar coat the task ahead.
“It's going to take a lot of cooperation from a lot of people to make this work,” King said. “I'm really worried about it.”
"I want to tell people we need to be patient,” said Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Mike Hinojosa. “I know this is the holiday season. We want some certainty. But we can't give you a lot of certainty for a couple of months until everyone figures out where they are going next."
"How are we going to be patient if don't know if we're going to have a job or not?” said bus driver Bennie Washington.
King emphasizes that it is his goal that the 2,5000 DCS employees will get jobs with area school districts.