It was a lovely idea, trading in the lumbering yellow school buses for minivans, sedans and Suburbans on routes with just a handful of students, thereby reducing fuel consumption and saving money. The problem with Dallas ISD's recent adoption of the plan is twofold: Parents, through some mix of aesthetics and nostalgia, really like the yellow buses; and, more important, implementation was an utter disaster.
Making sure parents knew that their children will be picked up by a strange, not-terribly-official-seeming vehicle before it pulls up on the first day of school would have been a good call. Properly labeling the vehicles as DISD transportation would have been another. And it wouldn't hurt to not have 9-year-old deaf girls dropped off at home by taxi, accompanied only by two grown men, or else left behind at school.
Given time, those kinks could probably have been ironed out, but the stink raised by parents was loud and persistent enough to reach the ears of Superintendent Mike Miles. On Wednesday, he informed trustees that he's phasing yellow buses back in on all bus routes, according to The Dallas Morning News.
The buses will return first to routes serving Harry Stone Montessori students, those with special needs and the hearing impaired. The rest will change "as quickly as possible" according to the letter sent to trustees.
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Parents are relieved. Because there's nothing like a possibly seatbelt-less, diesel fume-belching behemoth to keep kids safe.