Redundant education bureaucracies in both Dallas and Harris County continue to spend millions of taxpayer dollars with minimal accountability while providing high cost, low quality services.
These bureaucracies once existed to manage public schools in their respective counties, but were pushed out after independent school districts were established to replace them. Following that transfer of management, not all of the county-level school districts were abolished.
Today, the Dallas County Schools (DCS) and the Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) both exist primarily to provide bus service to neighboring districts. They are funded through a combination of property taxes, state subsidies, and contracts with local school districts. Despite generous funding levels, they manage to operate at a severe loss.
These governmental entities also waste public funds by competing with private sector companies, many of which already provide high quality and lower cost transportation services to school districts.
State Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas) is calling for these redundant and costly bureaucracies to be abolished.
“Not only is DCS using taxpayer dollars to attempt to operate money-making ventures, including charter bus services, but all the services it offers are duplicated by education service centers and private sector businesses that pay taxes. The public or private sector could readily absorb these services.”
In addition to wasting taxpayer dollars, the DCS in particular was heavily criticized for failing to reprimand reckless drivers who routinely endangered the lives of children. DCS has a horrible track record of providing reliable bus service, but is able to stay above water with a monopolistic, no-bid contract from its largest client—the Dallas Independent School District.
By abolishing the DCS and HCDE, taxpayers will save millions while – more importantly – improving the safety and security of Texas’s students.